According to the Washington Post, the Trump Administration aims to threaten naturalized citizens through the use of decades old fingerprint analysis. Denaturalization, or revoking citizenship, is extremely rare and occurs only in extreme cases of fraud or criminal activity. Now the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the United States Customs and Immigration Service (USCIS) teamed up to investigate immigration fraud, the possibility of denaturalization increased drastically. This investigation led to a Federal court decision which removed U.S. citizenship from a native of India. Following the decision, the director of USCIS, L. Francis Cissna has devoted more USCIS resources towards analyzing decades old fingerprint data to uncover citizenship fraud.
After the Federal court judge revoked citizenship on the grounds of fingerprint evidence, the Trump Administration gained the precedent necessary to investigate the citizenship of thousands of naturalized citizens who’s fingerprints were collected in the 1990s. The director of USCIS, L. Francis Cissna, confirmed to the Associated Press that USCIS was hiring new lawyers and immigration officers to investigate potential fraudulent citizenship claims by digitizing old fingerprints. According to the Washington Post “If decades-old fingerprints gathered during a deportation match those of someone who did not disclose that deportation on their naturalization application or used a different name, that individual could be targeted.” This announcement displays a shift in attitudes towards revoking citizenship; as such, denaturalization may become a common occurrence.
Director Cissna is clear in that the new USCIS effort to remove citizenship from naturalized immigrants is an effort to crack down on fraudulent citizenship claims. Therefore, those who have lived as citizens of the United States for decades may soon be stripped of their claims to the United States.