Administration Ramps Up Effort to Root Out, Prosecute and Denaturalize Those Who Try to Game the Immigration System



The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a new coordinated effort to aggressively track down, prosecute and denaturalize individuals who gain citizenship through deceit or fraud.

In an interview with the Associated Press, USCIS Director L. Francis Cissna said the agency intends to hire several dozen lawyers and immigration officers to review cases involving those who received deportation orders, but then used fake documents to get green cards and then citizenship.

The investigative group will receive funds from the existing budget and will refer any eligible cases to the Justice Department. Upon review, Justice will decide whether to proceed with civil denaturalization lawsuits or, when warranted, criminal charges for fraud.

While denaturalization historically has involved those charged with genocide or war crimes, Cissna is believes it can be an effective tool.

“We finally have a process in place to get to the bottom of all these bad cases and start denaturalizing people who should not have been naturalized in the first place,” said Cissna, who added the cases of fraud could number in the thousands.

In 2016, a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) initiative, known as Operation Janus, identified 858 individuals obtained citizenship unlawfully because of missing fingerprint records.

Although they were to be deported, a lack of fingerprint records allowed them to slip through the naturalization process.

That is the tip of the iceberg as Operation Janus identified 315,000 cases where some data was missing from the centralized digital fingerprint repository.

Justice filed its three denaturalization complaints in September 2017 and obtained the first conviction in January 2018. Less than a month later, Justice filed a civil complaint against Mubarak Ahmed Hamed, a diversity lottery winner who illegally sent non-profit funds to a group sanctioned by the U.S.

After years of taking a hands-off approach to immigration fraud, the decision by USCIS is a necessary step in the right direction.

About Author

avatar

Jennifer joined FAIR as Web Content Writer in 2017 and brings to the role extensive communications and media background. She began her career as a policy research analyst on multiple national and state political campaigns before entering journalism. In addition to spending over a decade writing for several broadcast and print news outlets, Jennifer directed communications strategy for a member of Congress and a military nonprofit.

4 Comments

  1. avatar
    Leslie Blenkhorn on

    Of course that would stop the problem immediately, fine the first employer to hire an illegal alien a million dollars and see who steps up to the plate next. But they don’t want to fix the problem and all efforts to show us that they are dealing with it are nothing but a dog and pony show to make us feel that something is being done.

    • avatar
      Leslie Blenkhorn on

      Of course that would stop the problem immediately, fine the first employer to hire an illegal alien a million dollars and see who steps up to the plate next. But they don’t want to fix the problem and all efforts to show us that they are dealing with it are nothing but a dog and pony show to make us feel that something is being done.

Leave A Reply