The Department of Homeland Security has identified 315,000 cases where fingerprint data was missing from the centralized digital fingerprint repository. The Department of Homeland Security has begun an initiative entitled Operation Janus and is working with the Department of Justice to investigate any of those with missing fingerprint data who may have sought to circumvent a criminal record or other background checks in the naturalization process.
As a result of this investigation, the Department of Justice has recently entered an order revoking the naturalized U.S. citizenship of an individual, cancelling his Certificate of Naturalization. The Department of Justice concluded that the individual unlawfully secured the immigration benefit of naturalization when he was excluded from the U.S. after entering unlawfully, but then later married a U.S. citizen and filed for residency under a different name. USCIS has since dedicated a team to review other Operation Janus cases, and the agency has stated its intention to refer approximately 1,600 cases for prosecution.
However, the Supreme Court has recently weighed in on the issue of denaturalization, and has indicated that a misrepresentation in and of itself should not necessarily lead to denaturalization. Instead, if the misrepresentation was of little consequence to the naturalization process and despite the misrepresentation the individual still would otherwise qualify for naturalization, the government should not strip citizenship from someone who met the legal criteria for acquiring it. In any case, Operation Janus marks a consistent trend in the administration’s efforts to crack down on immigration.