• Uzoma Obi, Esquire


  1. Falsification or Concealment of Relevant Facts: You must be absolutely truthful when filling out paperwork and answering interview questions related to the naturalization application process. Even if the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) fails to recognize any lies or omissions at first, the agency may file a denaturalization action against you after citizenship has been granted. Example using a false name to file for citizenship.

  2. Refusal to Testify Before Congress: You may not refuse to testify before a U.S. congressional committee whose job it is to investigate your alleged involvement in subversive acts, such as those intended to harm U.S. officials or overthrow the U.S. government.

  3. Membership in Subversive Groups: Your citizenship may be revoked if the U.S. government can prove that you joined a subversive organization within five years of becoming a naturalized citizen. The communist party, Nazi groups, and Al Qaeda are examples.

  4. Dishonorable Military Discharge: Since you may become a naturalized U.S. citizen by virtue of serving in the U.S. military, your citizenship may be revoked if you are dishonorably discharged before serving five years.

  5. Acts of Treason against the USA: Any act of treason against, or attempting by force to overthrow, or bearing arms against, the United States will expose the person to denaturalization.

  6. Dual Citizenship: American born citizens who actively apply for naturalization in a foreign country may lose their US citizenship whereas those who are automatically citizens those foreign countries through birth, parentage or marriage depending on the foreign country’s laws on citizenship are generally exempted.

The last time the federal government tried to denaturalize citizens was during the McCarthy period almost 75 years ago. And they went after people who they were accused of being Communists who were naturalized citizens. And they took away their citizenship and deported them. That said, generally, the Supreme Court recognizes that all American citizens, whether native-born or naturalized, could not be deprived of their citizenship involuntarily. It requires you to have voluntarily engaged in a proscribed act plus the US government commencing denaturalization actions against you in a US District Court. The District Courts grant citizenship, therefore, it is only the District Courts that can take it away.In today’s uncertain times for immigrants, it can be troubling for a naturalized American citizen to worry about the chances of losing citizenship via Trump’s task force on denaturalization fraud. In fairness to Trump, this process started during Obama’s administration, however, there’s something sinister about Trump’s effort that reeks of bad faith enforcement of the relevant laws. Anti-Jewish legislation that denaturalized millions of German Jews in 1933 started through little innocent appearing motives that later morphed into unspeakable tragedy for millions of Jews. In this situation, USCIS insists they are only going after folks who lied on their application. Fair enough but knowing Trump and his anti-immigration policy and the potential for this effort to morph into different areas leaves room for adverse exploitation and abuse. Currently, there are around 20 million naturalized US citizens, therefore, the potential impact can be enormous. However, as of this month, a list of around 300,000 suspects has been whittled down to 2,500 potential targets through fingerprint/ biometrics investigations. Therefore although US citizens can and will be deported, that chance of successfully revoking US citizenship and subsequent deportation is still rare relative to the affected population for the time being.If additional information is needed on this topic, call us at (301)453-7177.


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