Since President Donald Trump took office, his administration has increased enforcement of U.S. immigration law both at the border and in the interior of the U.S. Now, the federal government is adding a new target of enforcement---immigration cheaters. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is establishing a new office to specifically crack down on those who fraudulently obtain U.S. citizenship. "Those who lied intentionally on their citizenship applications, people who maybe had criminal convictions under different names and then use a new name to try and get citizenship...that kind of thing," says Mark Krikorian with the Center for Immigration Studies.
The new office will be located in Los Angeles and is set to open by next year. Krikorian tells KTRH that this type of enforcement is long overdue. "There are thousands of people like that, and I think once they start digging into it, they're likely to find that there are more than they thought," he says.
Indeed, a 2016 government watchdog report found more than 800 immigrants who became U.S. citizens after being ordered deported under a different name. "Identifying a small fraction of them and stripping them of their citizenship will send a very important message for the first time," says Krikorian. "We want people to become citizens if they've decided to come here to live, but it is essential that the process has integrity, and we have been kind of sloppy and slapdash about that for a long time."