DOJ begins yanking immigrants’ naturalized citizenship under ‘Operation Janus’

He should have been deported back to his home country after arriving in the United States from Hong Kong without a passport in 1992, but instead Baljinder Singh became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2004, all thanks to a botched fingerprint check.

It’s an almost decade and a half old mistake that’s only now being rectified, the Justice Department announced on Tuesday, thanks to a federal court ruling that stripped Singh’s citizenship.

According to the Washington Times, instead of obeying the deportation order in 1992, Singh managed to remain in the United States by changing his name to Davinder Singh, applying for an immigrant visa, and marrying a U.S. citizen under the false name. It was enough to obtain naturalization status in 2004, but thanks to Operation Janus, it will no longer be enough for Singh and those like him to remain in the country under false pretenses.

The Washington Times describes Operation Janus as “a joint effort examining thousands of people who investigators say were erroneously granted citizenship because of a fingerprint snafu” that “began after a Homeland Security employee in 2008 identified hundreds of immigrants granted legal status even though they had been ordered to be deported.”

(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Ultimately, it was the government’s mistake that allowed Singh to slip through. His decades-old fingerprints had been in a paper file while the government was only checking them electronically, allowing him to avoid detection.

“The defendant exploited our immigration system and unlawfully secured the ultimate immigration benefit of naturalization, which undermines both the nation’s security and our lawful immigration system,” said Chad Readler, who works in the Justice Department’s Civil Division as an acting assistant attorney general.

In the long run, it’s a good message for Americans and for those who want to come here the right way.

“This will send a message that when you apply for naturalization and do it through fraud or concealing material facts, just getting your citizenship doesn’t mean you are out of immigration official’s reach,” said Center for Immigration Studies fellow Dan Cadman. “Giving citizenship to aliens is the highest honor our nation can bestow someone from another country. It should be a process with integrity.”

While the law doesn’t allow the revocation of citizenship for native-born citizens, those who are naturalized can lose their citizenship and eventually be deported if said citizenship was obtained through misrepresentation or fraud. For example, just last November the Justice Department announced the citizenship revocations of several naturalized immigrants who lied about their criminal history of sexual abuse.

The federal court ruling makes Singh the first individual to actually be denaturalized under Janus, but he won’t be the last. According to the Justice Department, at least 1,600 Operation Janus cases will be referred for prosecution from Homeland Security, including that of Pakistani native Iyman Faris, currently in prison until 2020 for a plot to destroy the Brooklyn Bridge in 2003.

Raise your hand if you’d like to see Faris, who “obtained” his citizenship in 1999, shipped back to Pakistan where he clearly belongs.

Yeah, this is one Jeff Sessions move that’s sure to be popular with the vast majority of Americans.

Leftist snowflakes, on the other hand, well, not so much…

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Scott Morefield

Scott Morefield

Scott Morefield is a news and opinion columnist for BizPac Review. In addition to his work on BPR, Scott's commentary can also be found on TheBlaze, The Hill, WND, Breitbart, National Review, The Federalist, and many other sites, including A Morefield Life, where he and his wife, Kim, share their marriage and parenting journey.
Scott Morefield

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