Justice Department Pushes to ‘Denaturalize’ Crooks and Criminals

Terrorist
PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images

The Department of Justice has set up a small team to help strip citizenship from terrorists, war criminals, sex criminals, and fraudsters.

But progressives warned against the project. It can “weaponize the over-broad statutes of denaturalization against poorer immigrants,” tweeted immigration lawyer David Kubat. The Minnesota lawyer continued:

It is probably the case that this section will at first focus on some of the least sympathetic individual cases to keep the backlash low, but if you set up a group to specialize in denaturalizations, sooner or later they’ll get around to cases of ticky tacky bullshit.

The department touted the program in a Wednesday press release;

The Department of Justice today announced the creation of a section dedicated to investigating and litigating revocation of naturalization.  The Denaturalization Section will join the existing sections within the Civil Division’s Office of Immigration Litigation—the District Court Section and the Appellate Section.  This move underscores the Department’s commitment to bring justice to terrorists, war criminals, sex offenders, and other fraudsters who illegally obtained naturalization.

While the Office of Immigration Litigation already has achieved great success in the denaturalization cases it has brought, winning 95 percent of the time, the growing number of referrals anticipated from law enforcement agencies motivated the creation of a standalone section dedicated to this important work.

“When a terrorist or sex offender becomes a U.S. citizen under false pretenses, it is an affront to our system—and it is especially offensive to those who fall victim to these criminals,” said Assistant Attorney General Jody Hunt.  “The Denaturalization Section will further the Department’s efforts to pursue those who unlawfully obtained citizenship status and ensure that they are held accountable for their fraudulent conduct.”

The investigation and denaturalization work reportedly began in 2016 under President Barack Obama. The work was pushed forward under Presidnet Donald Trump, prompting outrage from pro-migration progressives.

But the progressive opposition has not gotten off the ground, partly because officials have showcased a backlog of very unsympathetic criminals. For example, the Justice Department’s press released spotlighted cases where the targets can expect little public sympathy:

U.S. v. al Dahab, No. 15-cv-5414 (D.D.C.).  Successful civil denaturalization of individual convicted of terrorism offenses in Egypt who admitted recruiting for al Qaeda within the United States and running a communications hub in California for the Egyptian Islamic Jihad terrorist organization.  The defendant was denaturalized while in Egypt, stripped of his passport, and prevented from returning to the United States.

U.S. v. Dzeko, No. 18-cv-759 (D.D.C.).  Successful civil denaturalization of an individual who was convicted in Bosnia of executing eight unarmed civilians and POWs during the Balkans conflict.  Defendant was denaturalized while incarcerated in a Bosnian prison, and thereby prevented from returning to the United States upon his release

U.S. v. al Dahab, No. 15-cv-5414 (D.D.C.).  Successful civil denaturalization of individual convicted of terrorism offenses in Egypt who admitted recruiting for al Qaeda within the United States and running a communications hub in California for the Egyptian Islamic Jihad terrorist organization.  The defendant was denaturalized while in Egypt, stripped of his passport, and prevented from returning to the United States.

U.S. v. Yetisen, No. 18-cv-570 (D. Or.).  Successful civil denaturalization of an individual who pled guilty in Bosnia of executing six unarmed civilians and POWs during the Balkans conflict.

U.S. v. Mondino, No. 18-cv-21840 (S.D. Fla.).  Successful civil denaturalization of an individual convicted of conspiring to defraud the U.S. Export-Import Bank of more than $24 million, resulting in more than $12 million in unrecovered losses. Because of the denaturalization proceedings, the defendant self-deported.

U.S. v. Warsame cases, Nos. 17-cv-5023, -5024, -5025, -5027 (D. Minn.).  Successful civil denaturalizations of four individuals who fraudulently claimed to be a family to gain admission to the United States through the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program.

The new project was also denounced by Todd Schulte, the director of FWD.us, which was created by West Coast investors to weaken and distract public opposition to their demand for many imported workers and consumers.

 

The FWD.us founders include Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Microsoft’s Bill Gates, who helped to expand the H-1B inflow of roughly one million Indian visa workers. In 2019 and 2020, the group has tried to expand the inflow of visa workers while also boosting the support for new migrants at the southern U.S. border, “DACA” migrants, state-level advocates for greater migration, and university advocates for more visa workers

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