In recent news, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is seeking to strip several individuals of their U.S. citizenship who allegedly concealed a material fact regarding their prior sexual abuse against minors during the immigration process. These individuals are Jorge Luis Alvarado (Mexico), Alberto Mario Beleno (Colombia), Eleazar Corral Valenzuela (Mexico), Moises Herrera-Gonzalez (Mexico), and Emmanuel Olugbenga Omopariola (Nigeria). Their cases were originally brought to the DOJ's attention by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) assisting in the investigation. The DOJ makes a point of stating in their announcement that the claims in the complaint are only allegations and have not yet been proven. These proceedings, initiated by the U.S. government in the Southern District of Texas, the Northern District of Texas, Northern District of Illinois and the Southern District of Florida are, in fact, part of their duty as U.S. attorneys per the INA § 340(a) as it states that the United States attorneys in their respective districts have a duty to bring denaturalization proceedings against an individual residing there where there is an affidavit with a showing of good cause for the individual's citizenship being gained through concealment of a material fact or through willful misrepresentation.
However, less heard of is the case where the U.S. government institutes denaturalization proceedings against convicted terrorists. In March 2017, the U.S. government filed denaturalization proceedings in the U.S. District Court in southern Illinois against one such convicted terrorist; this convicted terrorist was Iyman Faris (Pakistan) and he is currently serving 20 years in prison for plotting to destroy the Brooklyn Bridge for Al Qaeda in 2003. Besides accusing Faris of lying in his immigration papers, the complaint alleges that Farris was not attached to the principles of the U.S. Constitution at the time of his naturalization in 1999 as evidenced by his plan to destroy the Brooklyn Bridge for Al Queda. It appears that INA § 340(c) may help support the government's case as being affiliated with a terrorist organization, such as Al Qaeda, within 5 years of U.S. naturalization should serve as prima facie evidence for one not being attached to the principles of the U.S. Constitution at the time of U.S. naturalization.
While the above cases are at one extreme, in a time where applying for U.S. naturalization is at a high, it is critical to know what needs to be disclosed on the application for U.S. naturalization and how to properly disclose it to avoid being criminally prosecuted and/or having one's U.S. citizenship revoked. If you are planning to apply for U.S. naturalization, you may prefer to consult with a U.S. immigration attorney before filing your case.
***Please keep in mind that this blog posting is for educational purposes only (i.e., to give you general information and a general understanding of this immigration related matter); this blog posting does not provide specific legal advice and does not form an attorney-client relationship.***