CBSN

How the Trump administration is bringing back denaturalization

An effort to find immigrants accused of citizenship fraud is on the rise. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services director told the Associated Press his agency is hiring several dozen lawyers and immigration officers to review cases of immigrants who were ordered deported and are suspected of using fake identities to later get green cards and citizenship through naturalization.

The Trump administration's efforts are prompting concern that people who haven't committed fraud might be wrongly deported, according to Caitlin Dickerson, an immigration reporter for the New York Times.

"They're coming from places where they used four different names so the two names the border agent may have written down might be different from what they actually use in day-to-day life," Dickerson said on CBSN. "So it's really hard for us to know at this point and the concern, you know, is that people who didn't intend to do anything wrong are going to be swept in and accused of lying."

The ACLU recently filed a class-action lawsuit arguing that federal immigration agencies have launched a coordinated campaign to arrest and deport immigrants who are seeking to become legal U.S. residents through marriage. Depositions and correspondence from federal officials show the extent to which officials for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services have been coordinating with their counterparts at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to facilitate arrests at citizenship offices in New England. 

The ACLU, in its arguments, criticizes the efforts as a deportation "trap" that violates the constitutional rights of immigrants.

ICE spokesman John Mohan responded that allegations of "inappropriate coordination" between the two agencies are "unfounded" and that coordination between the two Department of Homeland Security agencies is "lawful and legitimate." He declined to elaborate, citing the pending litigation.

"There's no question that immigration arrests within the country have reached unprecedented levels under this president, that we're arresting more people and deporting more people than ever before," Dickerson said. "So in a way, it shouldn't be surprising that yes these federal agencies are working together to do exactly what, you know, the president has said he wants to do which is lower this undocumented population."