Supreme Court Limits Government Action to Revoke Naturalization Interview

In Maslenjak v. United States, the Justices of the Supreme Court unanimously rejected the contention that the government could revoke the naturalization of an individual that made a minor misstatement at their naturalization interview or their N-400 application.

 

The lawyer for the government argued that something as minor as failing to disclose a traffic ticket would be adequate grounds for revoking an individual’s naturalization years after it had been granted. Not one of the Justices agreed with the lawyer’s argument. The court held that there must be a connection between an illegal act and the individual’s eligibility to become a naturalized US citizen. Further, the court ruled that the misstatement must have affected the government’s decision had the government had knowledge of the misstated information at the time of the misstatement.

 

In the case in front of the court, Ms. Maslenjak was admitted to the United States as a refugee after falsifying information about her husband’s service in the Bosnian Serb military. The misstatement was repeated on her N-400 application. The government moved to denaturalize her and the jury was improperly instructed by the Judge that any misrepresentation, no matter how insignificant, was adequate grounds for revoking Ms. Maslenjak’s citizenship. The Supreme Court held that the Judge erred and remanded the case to the lower courts to consider if the US government may try her using the stricter standard.

 

If you believe that you have a unique situation that may impair your ability to Naturalize, contact our office. A Naturalization is not a simple process and involves more that filling the form. We would love to assist you.

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Sweta Khandelwal

Sweta completed her Masters in Law from the University of California, Los Angeles and her JD from the Faculty of Law, Delhi University in India and has been practicing law for 15+ years getting visas, green cards, and citizenship for 1000+ clients, 100+ companies across 50+ nationalities.

Sweta has been recognized as a ” Super Lawyer, Rising Star,” and as amongst the ” Top 40 under 40″ immigration attorneys in California (American Society of Legal Advocates). She is also the recipient of the Advocacy Award by the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

Sweta is also a chartered accountant — the equivalent of a CPA. This makes her uniquely positioned to understand the immigration needs of her business clients in the broader context of their corporate objectives.

Sweta is actively involved with immigration issues and immigrant communities in various capacities. She has assumed key roles at the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), both at the local and national level. She has been a past chair at the Santa Clara Valley Chapter at AILA and has also been involved in various practice area committees at AILA National. Sweta has addressed multiple conferences/forums in the United States and worldwide on immigration and business issues.

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