More Immigrant Child Sex Offenders May Lose Citizenship

View of an unidentified male suspect handcuffed to a bench in the Southeast Community Police Station, Los Angeles, California, April 24, 2015. The man had been arrested for solicitation of prostitution in the South Figueroa Street corridor by the LAPD's Human Trafficking Task Force. (Photo by Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images)
Robert Nickelsberg/Getty

The Department of Justice initiated proceedings Tuesday to strip the citizenships of five more immigrants who lied about sex offenses against minors when they applied for naturalization.

Three of these “denaturalization” cases are in Texas, one is in South Florida, and a final one is in Illinois.

“Committing fraud in any immigration matter undermines the integrity of our immigration system, and is a betrayal of the American people’s generosity,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement, adding:

It is especially appalling when it also involves the sexual abuse of children. The Department of Justice has a duty to prosecute these crimes vigorously, particularly so for individuals who commit fraud in the naturalization process. I am confident that justice will be done in these cases, and I want to thank ICE, CBP, USCIS, our Civil Division, and our U.S. Attorneys’ offices for their hard work. This Department will continue to fight to denaturalize immigration fraudsters and to protect the American people from sex offenders.

Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke also joined in the call, saying, “Those who unlawfully procured citizenship by concealing crimes – especially sexual abuse of minors – should have their citizenship revoked.”

The men in question are Jorge Luis Alvarado, Eleazar Corral Valenzuela, and Moises Herrera-Gonzalez, all originally from Mexcio, Alberto Mario Beleno from Columbia, and Emmanuel Olugbenga Omopariola from Nigeria.

All were asked, like all applicants for U.S. citizenship, if they had ever committed a crime for which they had not been arrested. All neglected to mention they had committed sexual attacks on minors for which they were later convicted. Some of the men’s victims were six and seven years old at the time of the offenses in question.

The government’s case for denaturalization against each of the men is based on this deceit. Each was able to secure citizenship based only on the impression of good character they created by concealing their sexual crimes against children.

These five cases are the latest in a wave of efforts by Sessions’ DOJ to correct improper grants of citizenship like these. Some have been based on terror connections, but sex offenders have also been successfully denaturalized.


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