SAN FRANCISCO – The efforts of an Immigration Services Officer during an interview at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ San Francisco Field Office uncovered two violations of law by Jie Zhong. The officer suspected Zhong took part in a fraudulent marriage with the purpose of cementing his claim to permanent residency and, later, U.S. citizenship.
The interview resulted in a referral to USCIS’ Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate and subsequent charges against Zhong. His naturalization was revoked and set aside on August 29 following a trial in U.S. District Court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Maria-Elena James.
San Francisco FDNS worked with agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement to bring the case to court. They successfully showed Zhong illegally procured citizenship after providing false testimony under oath, thus lacking the good moral character requisite for naturalization, and procured naturalization by concealment of a material fact.
“We at USCIS are proud of having developed this case for successful prosecution,” said Rebecca Galindo, FDNS chief for the San Francisco district. “Anyone who enters the United States, immigrates and later becomes a citizen through fraud harms the integrity of our immigration system by their unlawful actions. They should be aware we will work tirelessly to bring them to justice.”
“The prosecution of this case demonstrates the commitment of this office to preventing immigration fraud,” said U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag of the Northern District of California. “Both naturalization and asylum are precious immigration benefits, and it is important to ensure that the path to each is secure.”
The order which revoked and rescinded Zhong’s naturalization returned him to lawful permanent resident status. If an immigration judge finds him removable, Zhong will be removed from the United States to China.
FDNS was established by USCIS in 2004 to strengthen efforts to ensure immigration benefits are not granted to individuals who pose a threat to national security or public safety, or who seek to defraud the U.S. immigration system.