Tills Visa Law

Stephen K. Tills, Attorney at LAW

DHS mistakenly grants citizenship to deported aliens. Q: Can citizenship be revoked?

Amidst the coverage of the terrorist bombings in New York and New Jersey on Monday (Sept.19/16), a story broke that DHS mistakenly granted citizenship to some 800 aliens who were under orders of deportation.

FBI agents walk around the roof outside an apartment during an investigation at a building Monday, Sept. 19, 2016, in Elizabeth, N.J. FBI agents are searching the apartment in New Jersey that is tied to Ahmad Khan Rahami wanted for questioning in the New York City bombing. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

FBI agents walk around the roof outside an apartment during an investigation at a building Monday, Sept. 19, 2016, in Elizabeth, N.J. FBI agents are searching the apartment in New Jersey that is tied to Ahmad Khan Rahami wanted for questioning in the New York City bombing. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

The explanation was that the people had been deported under different names, and that their fingerprint results were lost or unavailable.  That deserves further inquiry. How are non-citizens identified in the Immigration system so that their identity is a certainty to adjudicators?
THREE WAYS
1) Name checks
2) Fingerprints
3) Alien Identification Number.

Name checks are an easy but less secure way of verifying identity. (Many countries / cultures have common given names, e.g. Singh, Hossain, Smith). Fingerprinting is the most reliable means of identification, and all applications granting lawful status in the U.S. require them.  The Alien Identification Number gets assigned to aliens if they are granted Immigration status by U.S. CIS or are if they are arrested by U.S. ICE.

Immigration C E courtesy of Womeininhomelandsa.com

ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) photo courtesy of Womeininhomelandsecurity.com

If an applicant for Naturalization failed to disclose the use of a different name during a deportation case DHS may not know it absent fingerprints.  But such a failure to disclose could be the basis of a Federal Criminal charge, and /or a new basis for deportation.

CAN DHS UNDO THE GRANT OF CITIZENSHIP?
Yes, the Attorney General has the duty to file a denaturalization claim in Federal Court.  Authority for denaturalization is found at 18 U.S. Code § 1425 – Procurement of citizenship or naturalization unlawfully.   The statute of limitations for a Federal Court charge of denaturalization is 10 years.

More than 800 immigrants mistakenly granted citizenship…read more->bigstory.ap.org

Homeland Security Department headquarters in Washington. The U.S. government has mistakenly granted citizenship to at least 858 immigrants..photo courtesy of bigstory

Homeland Security Department headquarters in Washington. The U.S. government has mistakenly granted citizenship to at least 858 immigrants..photo courtesy of yahoo.com

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