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Are Naturalized U.S. Citizens in Danger of Having Their Citizenship Revoked?

The opportunity to become an American citizen is the highest benefit offered by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. For many foreigners, naturalization is their ultimate American dream come true, but for a few others, it can turn into a nightmare. In recent months, immigration enforcement agents and the Justice Department have been empowered by the White House to look for naturalized U.S. citizens who can be stripped of their legal status, and this is in line with the immigration enforcement continuum pushed by President Donald Trump. If you’re concerned that you or a loved one may be targeted by this type of action, reach out right away to lawyers with specialized expertise in immigration services. In San Diego, the experienced immigration attorneys from KS Visa Law will be your trusted partners through every step of the process.

Similar to the “deportation task force” Trump promised to voters during his controversial election campaign, a task force has been created to actively look for cases in which naturalization can be undone. An instance showing this task force at work was reported by the Miami Herald in July 2018. Norma Borgono, a 63-year-old woman born in Peru, became one of the first subjects of Operation Janus, which is reviewing immigration records dating back 10 years. The immediate focus of Operation Janus is on identifying foreigners whose naturalization status may have been obtained under false pretenses. 

In the Borgono case, the government alleges she didn’t disclose a mail fraud offense for which she served 12 months of house arrest in 2011. Borgono had applied for citizenship in 2007. At the time, she hadn’t been charged, but the investigation indicates that criminal activity had begun before she submitted her application. Since USCIS Form N-400 requires listing all crimes, including those that applicants were never charged with, officials are now seeking to revoke Borgono’s citizenship. 

Here’s what naturalized U.S. citizens should know about Operation Janus: 

  • The Justice Department is looking for cases in which the citizenship application process was fraudulent.
  • The easiest route for investigators to take is to look at inconsistencies that suggest concealment or lies. 
  • Undoing a naturalization requires the government to enter a legal action in court, and it doesn’t result in automatic deportation, because that’s a separate process. 

A more technical case that’s part of Operation Janus involves Parvez Khan, a Florida resident born in Pakistan more than 60 years ago. The government claims Khan became a naturalized citizen despite previously having received a notice of deportation, albeit under a different name. According to prosecutors, Khan reportedly changed his identity to avoid deportation. Nonetheless, the court hearing this case didn’t find the government’s argument convincing. In the way the case has unfolded, Khan appears to have never been aware of a deportation order, which means he couldn’t have knowingly lied on his naturalization application. 

It’s important to remember the Trump administration is mostly fishing at this point, which means a good defense can be formulated before having to appear in court. Naturalized citizens who are concerned about Operation Janus should contact the San Diego immigration lawyers from KS Visa Law to review their situations and discuss their options.

We have helped many naturalized citizens in San Diego maintain their citizenship. Call 858-874-0711 today to schedule an appointment.

November 2019
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