The United States president Donald Trump’s strict immigration policy is being extended to citizens of the world’s powerful country whose naturalization cases are going to be reexamined by a special task force announced in June.
The news about the denaturalization drive was overshadowed by the deportations and cruelty against immigrants in detention centres including hundreds of children who have been caged away from their locked up parents.
The Director of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, L. Francis Cissna, told the Associated Press that the new task force will look for people who “should not have been naturalized in the first place”.
He added that the organisation is hiring dozens of lawyers and immigration officers to find U.S. citizens who “should not have been naturalized”, to revoke their citizenship, and then deport them.
The targets include people who are found to have lied or suspected of cheating to get their citizenship; those who changed their identities and reapplied for citizenship after a removal order was issued against them under a different identity.
“The people who are going to be targeted by this — they know full well who they are because they were ordered removed under a different identity and they intentionally lied about it when they applied for citizenship later on. It may be some time before we get to their case, but we’ll get to them,” USCIS director Cissna said.
The task force’s new office in Los Angeles is expected to run by next year. The U.S. government has tackled a number of such cases in the past decade with the notable one earlier this year when a judge revoked the citizenship of an Indian-born New Jersey man named Baljinder Singh.
Federal authorities accused him of using an alias to avoid deportation after his arrival in the United States in 1991. He applied for asylum using a different name after he was ordered deported the next year and a month after arriving in the U.S.
He later married an American woman and got a green card before naturalization without mentioning his earlier deportation order.
Since 1990, 305 civil denaturalization cases were files, according to immigration attorney Matthew Hoppock who believes some immigrants might have made mistakes on their paperwork and might not have the money to fight back in court when targeted.