Recognized as the opposite of naturalization – the process by which a foreign national is officially granted citizenship in the United States – denaturalization is the process by which this citizenship is stripped from a person. Also referred to as the revocation of naturalization, denaturalization is considered to be one of the more complex and time-consuming actions that is executed under the provisional guidelines of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
The denaturalization process is so complex, in fact, that it cannot be completed in the administrative setting, as are most all other proceedings which are conducted by the INA. Rather, the revocation of an individual’s naturalization must be handled in the district court. If you or a family member is facing this burdensome and potentially life-altering process, then you should not wait to speak with a New York City immigration lawyer from Pozo Goldstein, LLP. Our team approach to immigration cases of every nature can be put to work on behalf of your case.
Every year, thousands of foreign nationals are granted citizenship in the U.S., however, many of these same individuals are never made aware of the fact that the hard work toward that was invested in achieving citizenship could be stripped from them. The process of denaturalization is the official way in which the U.S. government allows for the revocation or cancellation of a foreign national’s U.S. citizenship. Why? Actions of this nature are only taken if the government has come to the conclusion that:
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), along with the Department of State (DOS), are very strict in their allowances when it comes to determining whether or not a person’s citizenship should be revoked from him or her. Something as seemingly harmless as mis-documenting the amount of time that you’ve been in the U.S. when your application is submitted could result in the ultimate revocation of your citizenship.
Additional situations that could land an immigrant in a problematic scenario with his or her naturalization include the intentional decision to not list a criminal conviction on their application, as well as identifying himself or herself under a false name on their application. Concealment of any nature is not taken lightly when it comes to matters of naturalization and citizenship, which could be why you are now facing denaturalization from the U.S.
Dishonorable Discharge from the Military
Some individuals who are made citizens of the U.S. through the process of naturalization have done so based upon their service in the U.S. armed forces. Naturalization that is obtained in this way, however, is not impermeable. For example, if a naturalized citizen is dishonorably discharged before completing five years of honorable service in the armed forces, his or her citizenship is at risk of cancellation.
As listed above, a naturalized citizen’s decision to participate in what has been identified as a subversive organization could result in denaturalization. At any point within five years from the time that a person is officially recognized as a naturalized citizen of the U.S., his or her membership in a subversive organization could lead to the ultimate revocation of their citizenship.
This aspect of the denaturalization process can be compounded when the individual who is under investigation refuses to testify before a committee that has been formed by the U.S. Congress. This is a committee has been designed for the specific purpose of investigating an individual’s suspected participation in subversive activities, and accordingly, will assess the individual’s behavior within the organization to look for possible signs of:
During denaturalization proceedings, you can expect for the district adjudications officer to play a pivotal role in the process. Part of the officer’s job at this time will be to execute careful adjudication of the applicant who is interviewed under oath. In addition, it is the officer’s job to ensure that any modifications issued during the interview process are documented appropriately, thus ensuring that the government can inevitably meet the high burden of proof expected if denaturalization is ultimately deemed to be necessary.
Your Rights During the Denaturalization Process
A judicial action is necessary to execute the official revocation of an individual’s naturalization. The fact that the naturalized citizen will be on trial, however, does not deny him or her of their fundamental rights, which are as follows:
If you wish to challenge the complaints that have been made against you by the government, then you should first speak to a professional attorney regarding the matter. Together, you and a member of our team can strategize on the best method of approach for your particular situation. For example, it might be necessary to prove to the government that they have been mistaken about your past, believing a criminal conviction was made when it was not. In a case of this nature, you should not be penalized for lying on your application.
Pozo Goldstein, LLP is a reputable immigration law firm in the state of New York, and we have worked hard to earn the high regard for which we are now recognized. Comprised of a team of former U.S. immigration prosecutors, and a former judge, we are fully prepared to take on cases of every nature, particularly as they apply to the naturalization and denaturalization processes. Together, we have more than half a century of experienced practice on our side, and you can too when you choose to work with our firm as you tackle an immigration matter of any degree.
Contact a New York citizenship attorney from our office to learn more.