Baljinder Singh becomes first Indian American to be striped of national citizenship

Baljinder Singh becomes first Indian American to be striped of national citizenship

Among those cases, some may have sought to circumvent criminal record and other background checks in the naturalisation process, said the Department of Homeland Security.

"The Justice Department will continue to use every tool to protect the integrity of our nation's immigration system, including the use of civil denaturalization", Readler added.

Singh's attorney could not be immediately reached.

The Justice Department, in an official statement, said, "Singh's denaturalisation is the first arising out of a growing body of cases referred to the Department of Justice by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) as part of Operation Janus".

This is the first case under a government initiative which is created to clamp down on fraudulent immigration, reported AFP.

Singh, a 43-year-old resident of Carteret, New Jersey, had married a USA citizen and received citizenship in 2006. Operation Janus was launched in 2010.

USCIS has said it intends to refer an additional 1,600 such cases for prosecution, according to the Justice Department.

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In the case of Singh, a native of India, the DOJ asserted that he arrived at San Francisco International Airport on September 25, 1991, without travel documents or proof of identity, claiming his name was "Davinder Singh". He was released on bond and an immigration judge granted his motion for a change of venue to Newark, New Jersey, according to court filings. Singh was placed in exclusion proceedings, but did not appear for his immigration court hearing and was ordered deported on January 7, 1992.

Meanwhile, the next month, Singh allegedly filed a request for asylum under a different name - Baljinder Singh.

Operation Janus does not bode well for the thousands of immigrants who have had to navigate the U.S.' complicated, lengthy, and costly immigration system.

Four weeks later, on February 6, 1992, he filed an asylum application under the name Baljinder Singh. He was then asked to appear before a court but he dodged it resulting in the authorities ordering his deportation in 1992.

In its complaint against Singh, filed in U.S. District Court in Newark in September, the Justice Department alleged that Singh had been ordered deported in 1992 after he first arrived in the United States on a flight from Hong Kong. Singh has been residing in Carteret, New Jersey.

Singh is accused of illegal procurement of naturalization by not being lawfully admitted for permanent residence, illegal procurement of naturalization due to lack of good moral characters, and procurement of USA citizenship with concealment of a material fact or willful misrepresentation, it said (see India-West article here).

The report concluded that the fingerprints were a match and belonged to the same person, a finding whose scientific credibility Singh did not challenge, according to the judge's ruling. He could be subject to removal proceedings at the Department of Homeland Security's discretion, according to the Justice Department.

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