The Trump Justice Department is cracking down hard on illegal immigrants. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is slowly identifying weaknesses and repairing cracks in the system. The department recently announced that for the first time in our history, “Operation Janus” was used to revoke a man’s naturalized citizenship.
According to the Washington Times, Operation Janus is “an ongoing collaboration between the DOJ and Department of Homeland Security, reviews cases where individuals tried to circumvent background checks by not submitting all or some fingerprint data to a centralized depository.” Investigators are pursuing at least 1,600 cases.
Prosecutors allege that Baljinder (David) Singh arrived in San Francisco 27 years ago. He had no travel papers, no I.D., and no explanation for what he was doing in the country. He skipped out on a 1992 immigration hearing and was subsequently deported.
Singh immediately crept back into the county and filed an application for asylum, claiming that he had no way to prove his identity. A few months later that attempt was abandoned after he married a U.S. citizen. Singh was naturalized in 2006.
He took advantage of gaps in the system to gain citizenship for himself. If people like Singh aren’t going to be punished for their actions, why have an immigration system at all? He lost his citizenship not because he’s a violent criminal, but because he disrespected our laws.
“The defendant exploited our immigration system and unlawfully secured the ultimate immigration benefit of naturalization, which undermines both the nation’s security and our lawful immigration system,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Chad Readler of the Justice Department’s Civil Division.
“The Justice Department will continue to use every tool to protect the integrity of our nation’s immigration system, including the use of civil denaturalization.”
Singh is now a lawful resident, and subject to further action by the Department of Homeland Security.
“We appreciate the dedication of our Justice Department partners as we work together to ensure the integrity of our nation’s legal immigration system,” said U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director L. Francis Cissna.
“I hope this case, and those to follow, send a loud message that attempting to fraudulently obtain U.S. citizenship will not be tolerated. Our nation’s citizens deserve nothing less.”
Singh is the first person to be brought down by Operation Janus, but he won’t be the last. Prosecutors are planning to bring forward at least 1,600 additional cases.
“The Justice Department,” Readler said last September, “is committed to preserving the integrity of our nation’s immigration system, and in particular, the asylum and naturalization processes. The civil complaints charge that defendants in these cases exploited our immigration system and unlawfully secured the ultimate immigration benefit of naturalization. The filing of these cases sends a clear message to immigration fraudsters – if you break our immigration laws, we will prosecute you and denaturalize you.”
President Trump has been remarkably responsive. Politicians have been trying to push aside their constituents’ immigration concerns for years, hoping that the problem might go away if they just ignored it. If Trump hadn’t decided to take forceful action, the problem would have continued to fester.
“The final border apprehension numbers of 2017, specifically at the southern border, undeniably prove the effectiveness of President Trump’s commitment to securing our borders… The secretary will require fixes to these loopholes as part of any immigration package negotiated today at the White House,” acting DHS press secretary Tyler Houlton said in a statement.
Denaturalization and deportation are serious, but necessary, processes. Singh tricked his way into becoming a citizen while millions of other people are working hard to do it legally. Immigration requirements aren’t made up for fun, we need to ensure that we’re only offering citizenship to people who will enhance our society.
“Naturalization is one of the most sacred honors bestowed by our nation,” said Acting USCIS Director James W. McCament.
“USCIS takes great care and responsibility in determining to refer a case for denaturalization proceedings. We do so to send the strong message that individuals who seek to defraud the United States by obtaining naturalization unlawfully will be targeted to have their U.S. citizenship stripped.”