DOJ and USCIS Joint Effort to Target Inadmissible Subjects Secures First Denaturalization

Last week, a federal judge removed US citizenship from a native of India who was pinpointed in a special investigation targeting inadmissible subjects, Operation Janus. The Justice Department and USCIS continue to assist with the Department of Homeland Security initiative to address naturalization cases with incomplete identification records known as the Operation Targeting Groups of Inadmissible Subjects, or Operation Janus. As reported by the Office of Inspector General in 2016, investigations found that in some 315,000 naturalization cases, fingerprint data was missing from the centralized digital fingerprint repository. Through Operation Janus, the Justice Department seeks to continue naturalization proceedings against those who unlawfully entered the United States through false identities.

The Case

As a January 5th, Baljinder Singh, no longer is a United States citizen. Baljinder, also known as Davinder Singh, allegedly entered the US in 1991 without proper documentation of identity. At the time, he claimed his name was Davinder Singh and was placed in exclusion proceedings for inadequate documentation. According to the DOJ, Singh failed to appear for his immigration court hearing and the court placed orders of deportation in January of 1992. In February of that year, Singh applied for asylum under the name Baljinder Singh. However, he abandoned the asylum application after marrying a US citizen. In 2006, Singh naturalized under the name Baljinder Singh. USCIS, after reviewing evidence uncovered through Operation Janus, matched the fingerprints of Baljinder and Davinder Singh and referred the case for prosecution. The District Court judge of New Jersey found that Singh illegally obtained his naturalized, and immediately revoked his citizenship. The Assistant Attorney General stated ““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.” USCIS has reviewed Singh’s case, and thousands more, in compliance with Operation Janus to review fingerprint data. According to the Justice Department, USCIS plans to refer “an additional 1,600 for prosecution.” The Department of Homeland security announced that it would immediately begin removal proceedings in Singh’s case.