Indian National First to Lose US Citizenship Under 'Operation Janus'

Acting Assistant Attorney General Chad Readler

Acting Assistant Attorney General Chad Readler

A security officer walks in front of the Martin Luther King Building and U.S. Courthouse in Newark, New Jersey on September 19, 2016.

Chesler, of U.S. District Court in New Jersey, wrote in a January 5 opinion that Baljinder Singh, also known as Davinder Singh, illegally obtained his naturalization and ordered Singh's certificate of naturalization cancelled and his citizenship revoked.

DHS has warned that "as long as the older fingerprint records have not been digitized and included in the repositories, USCIS risks making naturalization decisions without complete information and, as a result, naturalizing additional individuals who may be ineligible for citizenship or who may be trying to obtain USA citizenship fraudulently". He was naturalized in 2006 under that name, after he married a woman from the U.S. Singh's new status as a lawful permanent resident puts him at risk for deportation.

Singh is the first person de-naturalized under Operation Janus, an initiative by the Department of Homeland Security to weed out naturalized citizens who circumvented fingerprint and other background checks during the naturalization process.

In an announcement on January 9, the Department of Justice said in a memo that Baljinder Singh, also known as Davinder Singh, is no longer a naturalized USA citizen after the government learned that he may not have gained citizenship lawfully.

A Department of Homeland Security initiative, Operation Janus, identified about 315,000 cases where some fingerprint data was missing from the centralized digital fingerprint repository.

"The defendant exploited our immigration system and unlawfully secured the ultimate immigration benefit of naturalisation, which undermines both the nation's security and our lawful immigration system", Chad Readler, the acting assistant attorney general in the department's Civil Division, said in court.

USCIS dedicated a team to review these Operation Janus cases, and the agency has stated its intention to refer approximately an additional 1,600 for prosecution. The move potentially makes him subject to deportation. A month later, he filed for asylum under the name Baljinder Sing but abandoned the attempt after getting married. Singh abandoned his asylum application and married a US citizen who filed a visa petition on his behalf, the joint statement read.

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.

The then Immigration and Naturalization Services granted Singh's permanent residency application in September 1998; six years later, he applied to become a naturalized citizen, according to court papers.

The Indian man, Baljinder Singh, received citizenship fraudulently, according to the authorities. Singh has been residing in Carteret, New Jersey. He claimed to be Davinder Singh, as per PTI report.

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