Denaturalization refers to the process of revoking a person’s citizenship in the U.S. and, in many cases, deporting that individual. Despite the fact that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) doesn’t commonly take this type of action against people, it is, nevertheless, possible and more likely to occur in certain situations.

Image of a green card, indicating a person is trying to stay in the United States

When this type of action is being brought against you, make sure you work with the experienced Los Angeles immigration attorneys at the Hanlon Law Group to:

  • Build the strongest possible defense.
  • Minimize your chances of being denaturalized.
  • Mount a strong appeal if or when necessary.

Causes for Denaturalization: 4 Grounds for Revoking Citizenship

The specific reasons that USCIS may initiate denaturalization proceedings against a person include that the individual is suspected to have:

  1. Lied on his citizenship application – All information provided to USCIS as part of a citizenship application must be truthful and complete. This means that, if or when a person intentionally provides false information or fails to disclose any relevant information, USCIS can take action to try to revoke that person’s citizenship. Examples of such relevant information that must be provided truthfully and completely include a person’s criminal history and his full legal name (and any other names he may have gone by in the past).It’s important to point out here that, even if a person has been granted citizenship based on incomplete or false information, USCIS can initiate denaturalization proceedings at any point in the future when it becomes aware that citizenship has been granted based on misinformation.
  2. Been members of a subversive or terrorist group – As part of the process of becoming a U.S. citizen, a person has to give an oath of allegiance to the U.S. Among other things, this means that an individual cannot have been a member of any group that the U.S. government has deemed to be subversive within five years of obtaining citizenship.If a person lies about having been a member of a subversive or terrorist group in the past or ends up joining such a group after obtaining citizenship, this can also be grounds for the USCIS to initiate denaturalization proceedings against that person.
  3. Refused to comply with court-orders to testify in certain cases – If the U.S. government suspects that a person has somehow been involved with a subversive group and that individual is ordered to testify in a case based on this suspicion, that person is obligated to provide testimony if the case is proceeding within 10 years of a person having been granted citizenship. Generally, such cases will specifically involve allegations of harmful or subversive acts against any U.S. government body or government official.Failure to comply with this by refusing to testify can be grounds for denaturalization, according to USCIS.
  4. Been dishonorably discharged from the military – Serving in a branch of the U.S. military is one way for people to gain citizenship. However, a person must complete 5 years of honorable service to solidify his citizenship.If some action has led to a person being dishonorably discharged before having served 5 years (because, for instance, that person allegedly committed a crime or went AWOL), USCIS can initiate denaturalization proceedings against that person.

Defenses against Denaturalization

The best defense to the possibility of denaturalization will generally depend on:

  • The specific reasons that USCIS has initiated these proceedings.
  • The stage in which the case is at (i.e., whether it’s in early stages or in the appeals process).

In general, however, some possible defense arguments against denaturalization can include (and are by no means limited to):

  • A person did provide truthful information about himself when applying for citizenship. Allegations of lying on citizenship applications are false and misinformed.
  • A person has been mistakenly identified as being affiliated with a subversive or terrorist organization. This may be because his name is similar to someone else’s who may have been affiliated with such a group or that a person is friends with someone affiliated with a subversive group and, yet, is not part of that group.
  • A person did not commit the crime he is alleged to have committed (and/or that may have led to an improper dishonorable discharge).
  • There is insufficient evidence for grounds for denaturalization, and therefore, a person should have the right to maintain his status as a U.S. citizenship.
  • Evidence the USCIS has against a person is based on misinformation, mistaken identity, etc.

The bottom line is that, if you or a loved one is facing the possibility of denaturalization, it will be critical that you work with the trusted Los Angeles immigration lawyers at the Hanlon Law Group for the best chances of retaining your citizenship and avoiding deportation.

Los Angeles, California Immigration Lawyers at the Hanlon Law Group, P.C.

At the Hanlon Law Group, P.C., our immigration law firm has more than 15 years of experience successfully representing clients in various types of immigration cases, including those that involve the most basic immigration applications to those associated with extremely complicated federal court litigation. Our firm offers state-of-the art technology to deliver these services efficiently while also providing each of our clients with old-fashioned personal service. That means you can count on your case progressing as quickly as possible while feeling confident that your Hanlon Law Group lawyer will answer your questions quickly, clearly and honestly.

Contact Us for a Professional Case Evaluation

To learn more about our citizenship, immigration and deportation defense services contact our Los Angeles immigration attorneys today by calling (626) 765-4641 or (866) 489-7612 or by emailing us using the form at the upper right-hand side of the screen. From our office in Pasadena, we serve clients throughout the Los Angeles area, across the state of California and from around the world.

We offer free, confidential initial consultations to provide potential clients with expert advice regarding their immigration law needs. Additionally, we are able to provide immigration legal services in various languages, including in Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, Bahasa Indonesian, Tagalog and Fukienese.