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US revokes Indian native's citizenship; faces deportation

13 January 2018

The action against Singh was filed contemporaneously with two other Operation Janus cases, as announced by the Justice Department on September 19, 2017.

The proceedings against Singh were part of Operation Janus, which is a programme of the US Department of Homeland Security against fraudulent immigration.

This was the first case of a person losing his or her citizenship because of an initiative of the current government that is aimed at cracking down on illegal immigration.

Under Operation Janus, the Department of Homeland Security has identified about 3,15,000 cases where some fingerprint data was missing from the centralised digital fingerprint repository.

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

The U.S. immigration agency plans to refer about 1,600 additional cases under Operation Janus for possible denaturalization.

Baljinder Singh aka Davinder Singh, 43, a native of India, arrived at San Francisco International Airport on September 25, 1991, without any travel documents or proof of identity. Through a Punjabi interpreter, he gave his name as Davinder Singh, according to court papers. "This opened the possibility of him being subject to removal proceedings". He was released on bond and an immigration judge granted his motion for a change of venue to Newark, New Jersey, according to court filings. He also dodged a subsequent court hearing and was ordered to be deported in January 1992. A month later, he filed for asylum under the name Baljinder Sing but abandoned the attempt after getting married. While that application was pending, he also married a US citizen and submitted paperwork on that basis to become a permanent resident, according to court filings. The following month, Singh filed an asylum application under the name Baljinder Singh, and he later married a US citizen.

In 2006, he finally became a naturalised citizen in 2006 after he married an American woman.

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He answered "no" to questions that asked whether he had ever used other names or given false or misleading information to US government officials "while applying for any immigration benefit or to prevent deportation, exclusion, or removal", court papers allege. He has been living in Carteret, New Jersey.

Singh is accused of illegal procurement of naturalization by not being lawfully admitted for permanent residence, illegal procurement of naturalization due to lack of good moral characters, and procurement of USA citizenship with concealment of a material fact or willful misrepresentation, it said (see India-West article here).

Singh has been now reverted to a green card status, which could potentially mean he might face deportation in the near future, as per reports.

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US revokes Indian native's citizenship; faces deportation