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Can a Naturalized Citizen Ever Be Denaturalized and Deported?

Posted on in Immigration

Westchester County NY citizenship and naturalization lawyerMost people assume that a naturalized citizen of the United States has the same rights and permanent status as a citizen by birth. In most cases, that is true. However, there are some situations in which a naturalized citizen can be denaturalized and deported from the country. 

Grounds for Revocation of Naturalized Citizenship

According to section 340 of the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act, there are four situations in which a person’s naturalized citizenship may be revoked: 

1. Person concealed or willfully misrepresented a material fact. 

Put simply, this means that a person deliberately lied or withheld information on their application or in their interview for naturalization, and USCIS found out about it later. The lie must involve a “material fact,” meaning that the information could have influenced the USCIS decision on naturalization.

2.  Person was ineligible for naturalization.

A person may be innocent of any willful deception or misrepresentation but still have failed to meet the requirements for naturalization. In this case, the government position is that the person “procured naturalization illegally.” Requirements for naturalization that a person may have failed to meet include length of residency and physical presence in the U.S., lawful admission for permanent residence, good moral character, and attachment to the U.S. Constitution.

For example, a person might be denaturalized for lacking “attachment to the Constitution” at the time of naturalization if they, within a short time after being naturalized, begin to publicly advocate for the overthrow of the United States government or in some other manner demonstrate a strong disregard for key principles of the Constitution. 

As another example, a person might be denaturalized if the USCIS later discovers proof of past criminal acts which would have prevented naturalization. The person may have had no intent to deceive the USCIS with regard to their past criminal acts, but they either did not realize the acts were crimes or forgot to detail those acts on their application. 

3.  Person joins a terrorist or totalitarian organization.

Naturalization can be revoked if a person becomes affiliated with the Communist party, another totalitarian party, or a terrorist organization (e.g., ISIS or Al-Qaeda) within five years of naturalization. 

Such affiliation is considered proof that the person did not have the necessary attachment to the Constitution at the time of naturalization and that the person willfully misrepresented a material fact that would have prevented their naturalization.

4. Person naturalized on the basis of military service does not complete five years of service

Such a person can be denaturalized if they are separated from military service under less than honorable conditions prior to completing at least five years of service. 

Do It Right With the Help of a Stamford, CT Citizenship Attorney

Navigating the complex maze of U.S. immigration and citizenship laws and documentation requirements can be very difficult to do on your own. As you can see, there are many ways to make an error in the naturalization process which could later result in your denaturalization. 

A knowledgeable Fairfield County citizenship and naturalization lawyer can smoothe the way for you, ensuring that your paperwork is completed accurately and that you understand exactly what is required to achieve your immigration goals. Contact Gonzalez Law Office, LLC at 203-323-1440.

Sources:

https://www.uscis.gov/policymanual/HTML/PolicyManual-Volume12-PartL-Chapter2.html

https://www.uscis.gov/policymanual/Print/PolicyManual-Volume12-PartL.html

https://www.uscis.gov/policymanual/HTML/PolicyManual-Volume12-PartD-Chapter7.html

Fairfield County Bar Association Connecticut Bar Association American Immigration Lawyers Association Connecticut American Immigration Lawyers Association
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