What is Operation Janus, which has taken citizenship of first naturalised Indian American?

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New Delhi | Published: January 10, 2018 6:26:13 PM

In an attempt to clamp down on fraudulent immigration, the United States has revoked the American citizenship of an Indian-origin man who reportedly defrauded the authorities

Operation Janus is an initiative to crack down on illegal immigrants

In an attempt to clamp down on fraudulent immigration, the United States has revoked the American citizenship of an Indian-origin man who reportedly defrauded the authorities. On January 5, Judge Stanley R. Chesler of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey entered an order revoking the naturalized U.S. citizenship of Baljinder Singh aka Davinder Singh, and canceling his Certificate of Naturalization, the Justice Department announced. Following Judge Chesler’s order, Singh’s immigration status reverted from naturalized citizen to lawful permanent resident, rendering him potentially subject to removal proceedings at the Department of Homeland Security’s discretion.

Singh’s denaturalization is the first arising out of a growing body of cases referred to the Department of Justice by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) as part of Operation Janus. The authorities believe that the former Indian citizen Baljinder Singh (43) alias Davinder Singh, from Carteret, New Jersey entered United States by marrying a US citizen in 2006 and then later, acquired American citizenship through fraudulent means. However, the US Justice Department authorities claim that he arrived in the United States in 1991, flying into San Francisco without travel documents or proof of identity.

What is Operation Janus?

Simplistically, Operation Janus is an initiative to crack down on those immigrants who have a criminal background or entered the territories of America without having the proper documents (or fake documents). A Department of Homeland Security initiative, Operation Janus, identified about 315,000 cases where some fingerprint data was missing from the centralized digital fingerprint repository. Among those cases, some may have sought to circumvent criminal record and other background checks in the naturalization process. These cases are the result of an ongoing collaboration between the two departments to investigate and seek denaturalization proceedings against those who obtained citizenship unlawfully. As per a release by the US Office of Public Affairs, USCIS dedicated a team to review these Operation Janus cases, and the agency has stated its intention to refer approximately an additional 1,600 for prosecution.

Under the Operation Janus, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement have identified, about 148,000 older fingerprint records that have not been digitized of aliens with final deportation orders or who are criminals or fugitives. The FBI repository is also missing records because, in the past, not all records taken during immigration encounters were forwarded to the FBI, as per a report by the US Homeland Security.

It must be noted that Operation Janus is not a drive to clear America of immigrants rather it is just an initiative which digs out the names of those who immigrants who entered the country using faulty methods.

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