Saturday, 20 January, 2018

Indian American Baljinder Singh loses his naturalized citizenship

For first time, Justice Dept. yanks naturalized citizenship in new 'Operation Janus' crackdown Baljinder Singh becomes first Indian American to be striped of national citizenship
Kenny Thornton | 13 January, 2018, 18:16

A US District Court in New Jersey on January 5 had entered an order revoking his naturalised US citizenship and canceling his Certificate of Naturalisation. A federal judge in New Jersey last Friday revoked his naturalisation, which meant he was no longer a citizen of the USA but just a lawful permanent resident with a Green Card.

Efforts to reach Singh for comment were not immediately successful. Those cases include background checks that were used in the naturalization process, officials said.

Once rare, denaturalization cases have been on the rise in recent years as the Justice Department has toughened immigration law enforcement.

Singh's denaturalization, as the process is called, is the first to come out of cases referred to the Justice Department by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) as part of "Operation Janus", according to the Justice Department. Singh abandoned that application after he married a USA citizen, who filed a visa petition on his behalf.

In an announcement on January 9, the Department of Justice said in a memo that Baljinder Singh, also known as Davinder Singh, is no longer a naturalized US citizen after the government learned that he may not have gained citizenship lawfully.

"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", Readler added. Operation Janus was launched in 2010.

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Singh's immigration status has been reverted from naturalized citizen to lawful permanent resident, rendering him potentially subject to removal proceedings at the Department of Homeland Security's discretion.

According to the DOJ, Singh entered the United States by plane in 1991 without travel documents or identification and gave the name Davinder Singh.

But after Singh did not show up for a court hearing on January 7, 1992, a judge ordered him deported, court papers said.

A security officer walks in front of the Martin Luther King Building and U.S. Courthouse in Newark, New Jersey on September 19, 2016. While that application was pending, he also married a USA citizen and submitted paperwork on that basis to become a permanent resident, according to court filings.

Reportedly, the first Indian to face such an action, the authorities believe that the former Indian citizen Baljinder Singh alias Davinder Singh entered United States by marrying a USA citizen and then later, acquired American citizenship through fraudulent means. Singh's is one of an estimated 1,600 cases that have been or will be referred for prosecution, authorities said. Singh has been residing in Carteret, New Jersey.

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