Following a decision by the Supreme Court last week authorizing lower courts to strip the citizenship of immigrants who lied during naturalization, a court in Houston delivered this exact punishment to a native of Mexico who lied when applying for citizenship in 1996.
According to a Department of Justice news brief, when asked during his immigration review whether he’d ever been arrested or convicted of a crime besides traffic violations, Jose Arizmendi answered, “No.”
Yet just months earlier he had pleaded guilty in a Harris County court to aggravated sexual assault of a child and reportedly accepted a 10-year probation deal.
But it gets worse. When authorities finally discovered this giant discrepancy in 2015, nearly 20 years after he obtained citizenship, they also learned that Arizmendi was at the time serving an 18-year prison sentence in Mexico for a separate rape charge. Apparently, this guy is some sort of international pervert.
Unfortunately, they also found out that deporting him would not be as easy as they had hoped.
“Although Arizmendi might have qualified for criminal denaturalization proceedings, a 10-year statute of limitations forced the federal government to seek a civil denaturalization instead,” the U.K. Daily Mail reported. “It took more than a year to serve legal papers to the Mexican prison he was incarcerated at.”
Fast forward to Tuesday of this week, when Arizmendi finally appeared in U.S. District Judge Vanessa Gilmore’s court for judgment day.
“Applications for naturalization must be candid with all material facts,” argued acting U.S. attorney Abe Martinez said, according to the DOJ. “Like in this case, failing to disclose material data should result in denaturalization.”
The judge agreed and effectively revoked Arizmendi’s citizenship over his lie, reportedly ordering him to immediately surrender and hand over his Certificate of Naturalization. Excellent.
But while Judge Gilmore deserves most of the credit for this, so does the Supreme Court, which paved the way for Tuesday’s ruling with its own stunningly awesome judgment call.
Dear America: Are you tired of winning yet? I’m certainly not!
H/T Houston Chronicle