Government Brings Civil Denaturalization Charges Against Four Individuals

Alexander J. Segal's picture

Introduction

On November 6, 2017, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the U.S. Department of State (DOS), and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that the United States Government filed civil complaints in the District of Minnesota against four individuals who are alleged to have fraudulently procured U.S. citizenship [PDF version]. The individuals face potential civil denaturalization.

DOJ Press Release

According to the complaint, a purported husband and wife along with their two purported children “unlawfully, knowingly, and fraudulently represented to immigration officials that they were a family” in order to gain admission into the United States through the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program. These four individuals were subsequently able to procure naturalization as a result of their fraudulent representations to immigration officials.

Civil Denaturalization

The DOJ described each of the four individuals and the allegations against them.

First, charges were brought against Fosia Abdi Adan, a native of Somalia who applied for and received a diversity visa on January 10, 2001. The complaint alleges that she fraudulently claimed that she was married to Jama Solob Kayre, which was a fictitious identity used by the second individual of the four charged, Ahmed Mohammed Warsame. The pair falsely claimed to have three children together, two of which were admitted into the United States as derivatives and charged along with their purported parents. Adan and Kayre, who were not, in fact, married, nevertheless procured a divorce in Minnesota soon after Adan was admitted for lawful permanent residency. Adan was naturalized on August 16, 2006, and she continued to falsely represent herself as the parent of her two purported children throughout the naturalization process. The complaint alleges that she was never lawfully admitted for permanent residence because she had engaged in “alien smuggling” as defined in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), and was therefore never eligible for naturalization.

Warsame received a beneficiary diversity visa under a fictitious name and based on his purported marriage to Adan. Throughout the diversity visa application process, he falsely claimed that he was married to Adan and that they had three children together. He was naturalized on September 13, 2006. Throughout the naturalization process, he continued to falsely claim that he had been married to Adan and that he was the parent of the two purported children from the marriage who were admitted as derivatives. He was naturalized under his fictitious name, but had his name changed to his real name during the naturalization process.

The first of the “children” charged was Mustaf Abdi Adan. He went by the name Mohamed Jama Solob when he applied for and received a beneficiary diversity visa as the fictitious child of Adan. Throughout the diversity visa process, he fraudulently claimed that Adan was his mother and Warsame was his father. He was naturalized under his fictitious name on July 24, 2013, but had his name changed to his real name at the time of his naturalization.

The second of the “children” charged was Faysal Jama Mire, who went by the name Mobarak Jama Solob when he applied for and obtained a beneficiary diversity immigrant visa as the fictitious child of Adan. Throughout the diversity visa application process, he fraudulently claimed that he was the child of Adan and Warsame. He was naturalized on April 14, 2010, under his fictitious name but had his name changed to his real name at the time of naturalization.

Additional Information in Washington Times Report

A report in the Washington Times by Stephen Dinan adds more information about the allegations [link].1 According to the report on the complaint, the four individuals were in fact cousins. The purported husband, Warsame, is alleged to have been married to another woman in Somalia who was in fact pregnant at the time he applied for a derivative diversity visa. Adan and Warsame had claimed to have three children, but only two were granted diversity visas.

According to the Washington Times report, Warsame, after his divorce from his fake wife, filed visa petitions for his real wife and children. In order to help evade scrutiny, Warsame allegedly fabricated a fictitious first husband for his real wife and claimed that his actual children were his step-children. According to the story, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) approved petitions for “some of Mr. Warsame's family…” However, DNA testing of Warsame's real family members revealed the fr and caused the USCIS to carefully scrutinize the entire case.

Statements from Government Officials

The DOJ news release provided statements from Government officials on the charges. We will replicate some of the interesting points from the statements.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions stated that:

The current immigration system is easily abused by fraudsters and nefarious actors, and that's certainly true of the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program. If the fraud is not detected and swift enforcement actions are not taken, chain migration only multiplies the consequences of abuse.”

Here, Attorney General Sessions touches on two of his immigration priorities. As Attorney General, he has focused on combating immigration fraud, and as a Senator, he was critical of the diversity visa program. The last part of his statement notes that if one individual is admitted based on fraud, he or she may be able to subsequently petition for family members, which appears to have may have happened in the instant case. His views on the issues mirror concerns addressed in the RAISE Act proposal, which he supported [see opinion blog].

Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke stated that “[f]raudulently obtained citizenship is an affront to our American values, the rule of law, and all those who honestly attained their immigration status.”

The Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs, Carl Risch, stated that “[d]eterring, detecting, and investigating U.S. passport and U.S. visa fraud are essential to protecting the integrity of consular processes and safeguarding our national security.”

Conclusion

The charges represent an interesting civil denaturalization case. The DOJ has publicized several denaturalization cases over the past several months [see blog]. To learn more about civil denaturalization and criminal denaturalization in general, please see our growing collection of articles on site [see category]. Please also see our article on an interesting recent Supreme Court decision involving criminal denaturalization (note that the instant charges are civil) [see article].

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  1. Dinan, Stephen. “More fraud in Diversity Visa Lottery as feds move to strip citizenship from four Somalis.” The Washington Times. Nov. 6, 2017. washingtontimes.com
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