A man born in Mexico who was convicted of child rape in Texas and then duped immigration officials to become a U.S. citizen. Officials stripped that citizenship after learning of his fraud. Almost 20 years after his initial conviction, the man was serving jail time in Mexico on another rape case.
This week, U.S. District Court Judge Vanessa Gilmore issued an order stripping 54-year-old Jose Arizmendi of his U.S. citizenship and taking away all rights and privileges, information released by the U.S. Department of Justice revealed.
In April 1996, Arizmendi had pleaded guilty to aggravated sexual assault of a child in Harris County. According to prosecutors, soon after entering his plea, he applied for naturalization. During a subsequent interview about his application in October 1996, Arizmendi was asked by an immigration official if he had ever been arrested, indicted, charged, or detained for breaking any laws while in the country.
“Relying on his answer,” the U.S. government granted his naturalization application and Arizmendi became a U.S citizen at the end of 1996.
In February 2015, almost 20 years after Arizmendi had raped a child and been granted U.S. citizenship, authorities filed a complaint to strip him of it. At the time, Arizmendi was in a Mexican jail serving an 18-month sentence in a separate case after he was convicted of rape in Mexico.
“We will aggressively pursue denaturalization in cases where individuals lie on their naturalization applications, especially in a circumstance like this one, which involved a child sex abuser. Civil denaturalization cases are an important law enforcement tool for protecting the public, including our children,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Chad A. Readler of the Justice Department’s Civil Division.
Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and Stephen K. Bannon. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.
Brandon Darby is managing director and editor-in-chief of Breitbart Texas. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Ildefonso Ortiz and Stephen K. Bannon. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.