The Justice Department recently stripped citizenship from five people convicted of child sex abuse, two of them came to the U.S. through chain migration. Others through the “Diversity Visa Lottery” program.
Ricardo De Leon admitted in court that he was already sexually abusing a six-year-old child when he applied for citizenship in the U.S. in 2010. He was indicted in 2015 and pled guilty last year. Christian Oribello Eguilos was charged with having sex with a child who was 10-years-old or younger and was convicted on four lesser charges of forcible lewd acts upon a child. Both men came to the U.S. as children who lived with a parent’s sibling who was already a U.S. citizen.
The Justice Department stated that both men lied about their past illegal acts during the naturalization process and their convictions allowed the government to revoke their citizenship.
“The United States has the most generous immigration system in the world, and the fraud and waste in that system is more rampant than recognized,” an official told The Washington Times. “The Trump administration is committed to stamping out that fraud, and one way of accomplishing this is by finding fraudsters and removing a benefit that is perceived as the ultimate benefit one can achieve in the American immigration system.”
In 2017 the Justice Department filed three denaturalization complaints in federal courts; in 2018 it’s filed nine so far.
One filed earlier this year was against a Sudanese immigrant, Mubarak Ahmed Hamed, who entered the U.S. on a student visa. He later won “permanent status” through the Diversity Visa Lottery program. Hamed violated American sanctions laws by shipping cash from his alleged charity to a known terrorist.
Another case was filed against Humayun Kabir Rahman, who was already ordered to be deported twice before by authorities. He used a fake identity to apply for and win the Diversity Visa Lottery. He then earned permanent status in the U.S. and applied for citizenship– by of course concealing his deportation orders.
During the interview process applicants are asked both verbally and in writing to acknowledge whether or not they have committed any crimes for which they were not arrested. If they lie and are found out they are disqualified. One requirement for naturalization is to prove that the applicant is of good moral character.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, a branch of Homeland Security, initiated a process called Operation Janus, which screens fingerprints kept in paper files into an electronic database. The department is processing 1,600 cases through this program of people who were granted citizenship when they were otherwise ineligible.
Denaturalization is just the first step taken to deport immigrants. After they are stripped of their citizenship they go back to their legal permanent resident status. The government then has to process an order for deportation.