If the government is sufficiently motivated, it could initiate de-naturalization proceedings against Mr. Singh because he obtained his citizenship by fraud.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit decided this case. Mr. Singh, a naturalized U.S. citizen, faced removal (deportation) proceedings.
Mr. Singh arrived to the U.S. in 1991, without travel documents or identification. He falsely stated that his name was Davinder Singh. The government obtained a removal (deportation) order against him. Mr. Singh filed an asylum application under the name Baljinder Singh, and married a US citizen. He also petitioned to adjust his status from alien to lawful permanent resident. He didn’t disclose his prior immigration history and deportation order in his application. The INS granted him lawful permanent residence status. He applied for, and was granted citizenship in 2006. He didn’t disclose his negative immigration history.
He was faced with a drug charge in 2011, and pled guilty. This lead to more immigration problems, even though he was a U.S. citizen. The Department of Homeland Security served him with a notice to appear (NTA). The government argued he was removable (deportable) due to his drug conviction. Secondly, his naturalization wasn’t valid, due to fraud.
The Court decided in Mr. Singh’s favor. It found that since he was a naturalized citizen at the time of the conviction, he is not removable due to his drug conviction. Secondly, the government could not deport him due to his criminal conviction. The manner in which he obtained his naturalized citizenship was not relevant.
This case is quite important. The government attempted to deport a naturalized U.S. citizen. If they had prevailed, it would have established a terrible precedent. A naturalized citizen would have to be concerned with potential removal proceedings. This case also demonstrates the complexity of U.S. immigration law. Statutory interpretation was crucial to the Court’s decision. An experienced immigration attorney is vital to successful advocacy for your immigration concerns.
If the government is sufficiently motivated, it could initiate de-naturalization proceedings against Mr. Singh because he obtained his citizenship by fraud. But those proceedings are much different than removal proceedings, and Mr. Singh would be entitled to Due Process and to defenses to avoid removal. Mr. Singh is safe for now, and maybe for the long term.