Washington, DC, USA : The Department of Justice is denaturalizing US citizen child molesters who failed to disclose their convictions. The Department last Tuesday, filed lawsuits to revoke the U.S. citizenship of five immigrants – from Nigeria, Mexico and Columbia – who pleaded guilty to saxually abusing minors in incidents determined to have taken place before they became naturalized.
Administration lawyers have filed denaturalization lawsuits against five U.S. citizens living in Illinois, Florida and Texas. The individuals willfully concealed child saxual abuse crimes they had committed prior to naturalizing, according to the civil complaints.
Emmanuel Olugbenga Omopariola, 60, – of Grand Prairie, Texas – a native of Nigeria, naturalized on July 1, 2004. Before he filed his naturalization application in May 2003, Omopariola made unlawful saxual contact with a seven-year-old child. In 2015, after he naturalized, Omopariola pleaded guilty in Texas state court to Indecency with a Child – Saxual Contact, a second-degree felony. He was ordered to five years of community supervision and placed on the sax offender registry. He has been residing in Grand Prairie, Texas. United States of America v. Emmanuel Olugbenga Omopariola (N.D. Tex.) – Omopariola is our cover photo.
Jorge Luis Alvarado, 56, a native of Mexico. Alvarado became a citizen on March 9, 2000 and pleaded guilty in 2007 to committing indecency with a child by saxual contact. The DOJ says it took place shortly before filing his naturalization application.
Alberto Mario Beleno, 64, a native of Colombia. Beleno became a citizen on Feb. 26, 2001. He pleaded guilty that year to the molestation of a minor in 1993 and 1994.
Eleazar Corral Valenzuela, 49, a native of Mexico. Valenzuela became a citizen on June 15, 2000. The Justice Department said he saxually abused a minor child before he applied for naturalization and pleaded guilty to the charge in 2000.
Moises Herrera-Gonzalez, 55, a native of Mexico. Herrera-Gonzalez became a citizen on Sept. 25, 1999. He pleaded guilty in 2002 of saxually assaulting a six-year-old child in 1996.
U.S. immigration law allows the government to revoke the naturalization certificate of anyone who obtained citizenship by concealing or misrepresenting material facts during the application process. The five defendants — Jorge Luis Alvarado, 56; Alberto Mario Beleno, 64; Eleazar Corral Valenzuela, 49; Moises Herrera-Gonzalez, 55; and Emmanuel Olugbenga Omopariola, 60 — lied on application forms and during in-person interviews with immigration officials about their criminal histories, according to DOJ.
All of the defendants had pleaded guilty to sax crimes against minor children — some as young as six years old — before applying to naturalize. Applicants for U.S. citizenship must show a history of “good moral character” for at least five years before the application date, so the defendants were ineligible for naturalization in the first place, DOJ lawyers said.
Under Sessions’ tenure as attorney general, DOJ has prioritized civil denaturalization prosecutions against people who lied about material facts while applying for citizenship. In the most recent high-profile case, a Mexican national was stripped of her citizenship for impersonating a U.S. immigration officer while going through the naturalization process.
DOJ has also brought denaturalization cases against people who lied about ties to terrorism and previous orders of deportation.
Last Tuesday’s complaints were filed in federal court in the Southern District of Florida, the Northern District of Illinois, the Northern District of Texas and the Southern District of Texas.
“Committing fraud in any immigration matter undermines the integrity of our immigration system, and is a betrayal of the American people’s generosity,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “It is especially appalling when it also involves the saxual abuse of children. The Department of Justice has a duty to prosecute these crimes vigorously, particularly so for individuals who commit fraud in the naturalization process. I am confident that justice will be done in these cases, and I want to thank ICE, CBP, USCIS, our Civil Division, and our U.S. Attorneys’ offices for their hard work. This Department will continue to fight to denaturalize immigration fraudsters and to protect the American people from sax offenders.”
The cases were referred to the Department of Justice by the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Customs and Border Protection with investigative support from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
“I commend the DHS personnel working diligently to remove dangerous criminals from our streets,” said Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Elaine Duke. “Those who unlawfully procured citizenship by concealing crimes – especially saxual abuse of minors – should have their citizenship revoked.”
Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, the citizenship of a naturalized U.S. citizen may be revoked, and his or her certificate of naturalization canceled, if naturalization was illegally procured or procured by concealment of a material fact or by willful misrepresentation.
These cases were investigated by ICE, CBP, and USCIS, and the Civil Division’s Office of Immigration Litigation, District Court Section (OIL-DCS). These cases are being prosecuted by OIL-DCS and its National Security and Affirmative Litigation Unit (NS/A Unit) with support from the U.S. Attorney’s Offices for the Southern District of Florida, Northern District of Illinois, Northern District of Texas, and Southern District of Texas.
The claims made in the complaint are allegations only, and there has been no determination of liability.