March 20, 2018

Indian-origin man is first American to lose naturalised citizenship

12 January 2018, 07:03 | Opal Carroll

For first time, Justice Dept. yanks naturalized citizenship in new 'Operation Janus' crackdown

Justice Department Revokes Naturalized Citizenship, Citing Fingerprint Issue

Singh abandoned his asylum application after he married a USA citizen, who filed a visa petition on his behalf. In February 1992, he filed for asylum under the name of Baljinder Singh, which he then abandoned after getting married. The man in question, 43-year old Baljinder Singh from Carteret, New Jersey, had become a naturalised citizen when he married his American wife in 2006.

Singh's attorney could not be immediately reached.

On January 5, Judge Stanley R. Chesler of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey entered an order revoking the naturalized U.S. citizenship of Baljinder Singh aka Davinder Singh, and canceling his Certificate of Naturalization, the Justice Department announced in a statement.

Under Operation Janus, the Department of Homeland Security has identified about 315,000 cases where some fingerprint data was missing from the centralised digital fingerprint repository.

The U.S. immigration agency plans to refer about 1,600 additional cases under Operation Janus for possible denaturalization.

Civil denaturalization will continue to be used by the department when applicable, Readler said.

The operation began after it was revealed that USCIS granted citizenship to "at least 858 individuals ordered deported or removed under another identity when, during the naturalization process, their digital fingerprint records were not available", according to a 2016 DHS memo cited by Rewire.

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"I hope this case, and those to follow, send a loud message that attempting to fraudulently obtain U.S. citizenship will not be tolerated", U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Francis Cissna said. "Our nation's citizens deserve nothing less".

Singh was granted citizenship and naturalized under the name Baljinder Singh on July 28, 2006, according to the Justice Department and court filings.

Photograph of a U.S. Department of Homeland Security logo. The inspector general recommended that immigration officials carefully evaluate the cases.

Operation Janus does not bode well for the thousands of immigrants who have had to navigate the U.S.' complicated, lengthy, and costly immigration system.

A federal judge last week stripped US citizenship from a native of India accused of using one name to enter the country without any papers and another to later file for permanent USA residency after marrying an American citizen.

Once rare, denaturalization cases have been on the rise in recent years as the Justice Department has toughened immigration law enforcement.

In the case of Singh, a native of India, the DOJ asserted that he arrived at San Francisco International Airport on September 25, 1991, without travel documents or proof of identity, claiming his name was "Davinder Singh". He was ordered to be deported in January 1992 after he missed exclusion proceedings.

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