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AILA Doc. No. 18072705 | Dated February 19, 2019
The Trump administration launched an office that focuses on identifying immigrants who are suspected of cheating to get their green cards or citizenship and seek to denaturalize these individuals. USCIS Director Francis Cissna announced that his agency is hiring several dozen lawyers and immigration officers to review these cases.
In September 2016, the DHS Office of the Inspector General (OIG) released a report finding that USCIS granted U.S. 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. OIG recommends that ICE finish uploading into the digital repository the fingerprints it identified, and that DHS resolve these cases of naturalized citizens who may have been ineligible. Further, the report found that fingerprint records were missing from hundreds of thousands of cases for a variety of reasons.
For many years, the DOJ focused its efforts to strip immigrants of their citizenship on suspected war criminals who lied on their immigration paperwork, most notably former Nazis. And, USCIS and DOJ pursued cases as they arose, but not through a coordinated effort.
As the New York Times reports, from 2004 to 2016, denaturalization cases filed by that office and by United States attorneys have averaged 46 each year. In each of the last two years, prosecutors filed nearly twice that many cases.
The Nation: How Trump Is Stripping Immigrants of Their Citizenship – December 21, 2018
The New York Times Magazine: Is Denaturalization the Next Front in the Trump Administration's War on Immigration? - December 19, 2018
Rewire.news: Why We're Fighting Donald Trump's Denaturalization Task Force - August 24, 2018
Los Angeles Times: Under Trump, the rare act of denaturalizing U.S. citizens on the rise – August 12, 2018
Smithsonian.com: Stripping Naturalized Immigrants of Their Citizenship Isn’t New – July 24, 2018
The New York Times: Congratulations, You Are Now a U.S. Citizen. Unless Someone Decides Later You’re Not. – July 23, 2018
Vox: Denaturalization, explained: how Trump can strip immigrants of their citizenship – July 18, 2018
Kera News: The US is using an expanded fingerprint database to review the citizenship of thousands of Americans – July 10, 2018
The Nation: Why Trump’s Denaturalization Task Force Matters – July 10, 2018
Miami Herald: Miami grandma targeted as U.S. takes aim at naturalized immigrants with prior offenses – July 9, 2018
The New Yorker: In America, Naturalized Citizens No Longer Have an Assumption of Permanence – June 18, 2018
CNN: Trump admin creates new office to investigate citizenship fraud – June 13, 2018
APNewsBreak: US launches bid to find citizenship cheaters – June 12, 2018
Cite as AILA Doc. No. 18072705.