Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ Department of Justice (DOJ) is seeking to strip citizenship from five alleged child sex abusers who allegedly became naturalized citizens by lying about their sex abuse past.
In a statement by the DOJ, Sessions announced five denaturalization lawsuits against:
Ricardo De Leon of Mexico
Ricardo De Leon, 32, a native of Mexico, naturalized on July 23, 2010. Before De Leon naturalized as a U.S. citizen, he sexually assaulted a child under the age of 12. In July 2015, after he had naturalized, De Leon was indicted, and in March 2017 he pleaded guilty in Texas state court to committing aggravated sexual assault of a child in 2009. He was ordered to ten years of community supervision and required to register as a sex offender. He has been residing in Edinburg, Texas.
Christian Oribello Eguilos of the Philippines
Christian Oribello Eguilos, 40, a native of the Philippines, naturalized on Nov. 6, 2013. For several years before filing his naturalization application and throughout the naturalization process, Eguilos repeatedly committed forcible lewd acts upon a child under the age of 14. In September 2015, he pleaded nolo contendere in California state court to four counts of Forcible Lewd Act Upon a Child. Eguilos was sentenced to 40 years in prison and ordered to register as a sex offender. He is incarcerated in Ione, California.
Carlos Noe Gallegos of Mexico
Carlos Noe Gallegos, 41, a native of Mexico, naturalized on March 10, 2010. Before Gallegos naturalized as a U.S. citizen, he sexually assaulted a seven-year-old child. In November 2016, after he had naturalized, Gallegos was indicted, and in April 2017 he pleaded guilty in Texas state court to committing aggravated sexual assault of a child in 2007. He was ordered to six years of community supervision and required to register as a sex offender. He has been residing in Alamo, Texas.
Alwin Farouk Gariba of Guyana
Alwin Farouk Gariba, 51, a native of Guyana, naturalized on Feb. 29, 2000. After he applied to naturalize but while he was in the naturalization process, Gariba repeatedly sexually abused a ten-year-old child. In July 2000, only months after he had naturalized, Gariba pleaded guilty in North Carolina state court to three counts of Taking Indecent Liberties with Children. He was placed on 60 months’ probation and ordered to register as a sex offender. He has been residing in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Moises Javier Lopez of Colombia
Moises Javier Lopez, 42, a native of the Republic of Colombia, naturalized on March 22, 2013. Before filing his naturalization application and throughout the naturalization process, Lopez sexually abused a minor child. In August 2013, he pleaded guilty in Maryland state court to Sexual Abuse of a Minor. He was sentenced to 25 years’ confinement, all but four suspended. He has been residing in Gaithersburg, Maryland.
Sessions said in a statement that naturalized citizens who lie in their citizenship process undermine the nation’s legal immigration system and thus need to have their citizenship status revoked, making them potentially eligible for deportation out of the U.S. Sessions said:
Those who wish to become American citizens ought to respect our laws and seek citizenship lawfully and honestly. Anyone who lies, misleads, or omits critical information in an attempt to evade the requirements for naturalization undermines the credibility of our nation’s generous lawful immigration system. This Justice Department will continue to seek out fraudsters and bring them to justice by obtaining orders revoking their naturalized citizenship.
The denaturalization effort is seen by pro-American immigration reformers as a step towards more effectively enforcing the nation’s legal immigration system, a break from the lax enforcement measures by the Obama and Bush administrations of the last decade.