We tell clients all the time – you have to tell the truth about everything.
Lying to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service is always a bad idea.
This week, a man from North Carolina found that out the hard way after a federal judge stripped him of his citizenship due to his failure to disclose an arrest that occurred while he was in the naturalization process.
Last July, Wilson Rene Cagua-Anzules pleaded guilty to lying to government officials during the naturalization process.
Cagua-Anzules was born in Ecuador in 1982 and entered the U.S. in 1999 as a lawful permanent resident.
He applied for citizenship in June of 2010 by completing an N-400 Application for Naturalization. One question on the form was:
“Have you ever committed a crime or offense for which you were not arrested?”
Mr. Cagua-Anzules answered no to that question during his February 2011 interview with a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services officer. Based on the answers that he gave to the officer, he became a U.S. citizen in March of 2012.
As it turns out, Cagua-Anzules had committed the crime of taking indecent liberties with a child in August of 2010. He pleaded guilty to the offense after becoming a citizen.
But the crime had occurred prior to his interview so the answer to the question should have been yes.
The federal government filed an action in federal court to de-naturalize Cagua-Anzules.
“Today, a federal judge stripped the U.S. citizenship of a man who did not deserve such privilege,” U.S. Attorney Jill Rose said in a statement. “Cagua-Anzules violated our immigration laws and compromised the integrity of our naturalization proceedings.”
“But make no mistake that we will prosecute those who try to cheat their way into an American citizenship,” Rose said. “Liars and cheats need not apply.”
The federal judge who stripped the man of citizenship has also ordered him to return to Ecuador, his home country.