What Is Denaturalization?
Early this year, the Justice Department created an official section called the Denaturalization Section. This policy was created to take away U.S. citizenship from naturalized immigrants and returns them to the status they were prior to receiving citizenship.
The Denaturalization Section leaves U.S. citizens who went through the naturalization process in a vulnerable state, which could potentially lead to deportation if they were in the U.S. unlawfully. Our immigration attorneys explain more about what the Denaturalization Section is and how it can affect you.
What Is the Process for Denaturalization?
The denaturalization is initiated when the USCIS refers cases to the DOJ if there is sufficient evidence to denaturalize a person. The DOJ files an action for revocation (either civil or criminal) in Federal District Court and a proceeding takes place where the defendant can renounce their citizenship or contest the proceedings.
Common Reasons for Denaturalization
Individuals can become denaturalized for several reasons:
- The individual did not meet the legal criteria for naturalization
- The individual misrepresented or concealed information during the naturalization process
- The individual committed naturalization fraud
- Military service members who were naturalized due to their service can be denaturalized if they were not discharged under not honorable conditions.
The Justice Department created the Denaturalization Section to get rid of terrorists, war criminals, sex offenders, other fraudsters, or immigrants who obtained citizenship illegally. However, many people fear that the Denaturalization Section will be used against immigrants who haven’t committed a serious crime.
Withheld Information or Illegally Obtained Citizenship
Denaturalization can affect individuals who got their citizenship despite not meeting the legal criteria for naturalization. It doesn’t matter if the person obtained their citizenship because of deception or misrepresentation. If the government finds that an individual deceived them during the naturalization process or the interview, their citizenship can also get revoked.
If the government doesn’t find that you meet the following criteria before getting your citizenship, your citizenship can get revoked:
Had legal permanent resident status before getting citizenship
Good moral character
Continuous physical presence in the United States
Attached to the principles of the U.S. Constitution
If a person is criminally convicted for naturalization fraud, they could be impacted by naturalization. They can also be affected if they are charged with a serious federal crime. The denaturalization process would deport the individual back to their country of origin.
Experienced Immigration Attorneys
If your citizenship is jeopardized because of the new denaturalization section, you still have rights that protect you. Our team at Perdomo Dorsett Immigration Law has helped many families and individuals with their immigration cases. Our attorneys solely focus on immigration cases, so we have the knowledge, skills, and experience needed to help you obtain the best possible results for your case.
If you or your loved one were affected by denaturalization, contact our immigration attorneys today to schedule a consultation!