It’s not an uncommon strategy for countries to deal with foreign-born terrorists and criminals.
And yet, predictably, it’s going to cause a kerfuffle.
According to Fox News, the Trump administration is launching an unit within the Department of Justice that will look at stripping citizenship from individuals who didn’t disclose major crimes on their path to citizenship. This includes terrorism and war crimes, two very good reasons you don’t want someone to be in your country.
“The section, which will be within the DOJ’s Office of Immigration Litigation, will be dedicated to denaturalizing those who had failed to disclose they had been involved in criminal activity on their N-400 form for naturalization,” Fox News reported.
“It requires the government to show that citizenship was obtained illegally or ‘procured by concealment of a material fact or by willful misrepresentation.'”
The form asks a lot of questions almost everyone can pass. Have you been involved in genocide or torture? Were you a Nazi? Were you a charged or convicted of a crime? Were you involved with a terrorist or other totalitarian organization?
If the answer is yes, the answer on your move toward naturalization is usually no. That’s why people can lie on the form — and what represents a serious danger, given the potential for terrorist recruiting in the United States.
“When a terrorist or sex offender becomes a U.S. citizen under false pretenses, it is an affront to our system — and it is especially offensive to those who fall victim to these criminals,” Assistant Attorney General Jody Hunt said in a DOJ news release.
“The Denaturalization Section will further the Department’s efforts to pursue those who unlawfully obtained citizenship status and ensure that they are held accountable for their fraudulent conduct.”
Is this widespread? No.
Necessary? You be the judge.
Here are a few of the cases that the DOJ noted where it has denaturalized people:
An Egyptian national was denaturalized in his home nation and had his U.S. passport stripped from him after being convicted of terrorism. In the United States, he admitted he was recruiting for al-Qaida.
Then there was an individual of unknown origin who molested a 7-year-old family member.
There was a Bosnian war criminal who executed eight unarmed individuals, both civilians and prisoners of war. He served time in Bosnia and was denaturalized during his sentence there.
Another individual was a trainee in an Afghan jihadi camp and coordinated with Osama bin Laden. He deported himself to Somaliland, an autonomous region of Somalia.
These are all people who ought to be stripped of their citizenship.
In response, I give you political Twitter, which clearly took the move with equanimity:
❗The Trump administration announced a new unit that aims to strip Americans of their citizenship.
Despite previous lies, Trump now confirms what we’ve known for three years: His systematic campaign against Black and brown people extends to US citizens. https://t.co/EvXNFKhe39
— ACLU (@ACLU) February 26, 2020
If Trump can strip citizenship from immigrants who have completed the process, he can strip citizenship from natural born citizens. It’s a very slippery slope and precedent is important here.
— Mary Grace Close (@MaryGClose) February 27, 2020
So long Flotus
— Louise Voltairine de Cleyre (@louise_q10) February 26, 2020
Racism, dictatorship and Melania, oh my.
Of course, part of this originated under the Obama administration.
The DOJ, Fox News says, “has seen an increase in such cases both because of an increased effort by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to root out fraud, as well as Operation Janus — an operation which began during the Obama administration and that identified hundreds of thousands of cases where paper fingerprint data was not entered into the centralized fingerprint database.”
It’s like Children in Cages 2: Electric Boogaloo.
Furthermore, this is likely hundreds of cases, not thousands or tens of thousands. It’s individuals who committed a very specific crime and who represent an unusual danger to the United States by being here.
And it’s not even aimed at individuals who commit crimes after they become citizens. It involves people who lied on their forms in order to get citizenship by concealing major crimes like terrorism or sex offenses.
This what you elect a president to do.
The fact he’s established this unit should be the least controversial thing in the world. Don’t tell that to the ACLU, though.
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