Carbajal Introduces New Bill to Block Creation of a Denaturalization Office
Prevents Administration from using federal funds to revoke citizenship from naturalized Americans
Washington, DC, July 20, 2020
Washington, DC — Today, Rep. Carbajal and the co-chairs of the New Americans Caucus, Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-NY) and Rep. Norma Torres (D-CA), introduced H.R. 7670, the Defend New Americans Act, which would prohibit the use of federal funds to establish a denaturalization office within the Department of Justice.
The Department of Justice has historically used denaturalization proceedings sparingly, focusing on suspected war criminals who lied on their paperwork. Over the past three years, denaturalization case referrals have increased by 600 percent, despite there being no evidence of an equivalent uptick in fraudulent citizenship applications. In February, the Department of Justice announced it had created an official section in its immigration office dedicated to denaturalization and requested over $200 million to investigate cases.
“The number of denaturalization cases has skyrocketed over the past three years, with no apparent increase in fraudulent citizenship claims. We cannot sit idly by as the Department of Justice pours even more federal resources into a non-existent problem that was invented to sow fear,” said Rep. Carbajal (CA-24). “Like millions of other Americans who took the Oath of Allegiance, I am proud to be a naturalized citizen and I refuse to let new Americans be treated as second-class citizens. The Defend New Americans Act prevents the administration from using denaturalization to unfairly target innocent American citizens.”
“The Trump administration has viciously attacked immigrant communities since day one and we continue to combat his efforts to threaten the American Dream with delays in the naturalization process and now this latest tactic to strip immigrants of their citizenship,” said Rep. Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), who serves as a Whip of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. “There is no proof of a sudden uptick in fraudulent citizenship claims, and the Trump administration is simply using this to yet again strike fear in immigrant communities. We must defend new Americans and cannot allow the administration to move forward with the creation of this new division of hate and profiling within the Department of Justice.”
“President Trump’s denaturalization efforts are just another attempt by our racist president to make America white again,” Rep. Torres (CA-35) said. “Immigrants helped build this nation; immigrants helped make it prosperous; and immigrants will help this nation rise again when this bigot is finally out of office. Until then, it falls to every decent and patriotic American to reject these hateful efforts to weaponize the institutions of our government to harm newcomers. We are a proud nation of immigrants, and if this president doesn’t like that, he should resign.”
In addition to the Defend New Americans Act, Congressman Carbajal joined a letter led by Rep. Espaillat and Rep. Torres requesting that the FY2021 Appropriations legislation includes language to restrict the creation of a special DOJ office dedicated to denaturalization.