EXCLUSIVE: The Department of Justice on Tuesday filed lawsuits to revoke the U.S. citizenship of five immigrants who pleaded guilty to sexually abusing minors in incidents determined to have taken place before they became naturalized, Fox News has learned.
These individuals, according to the Justice Department, “unlawfully procured their U.S. citizenship by concealing sexual abuse of minor victims during the naturalization process.”
“Committing fraud in any immigration matter undermines the integrity of our immigration system, and is a betrayal of the American people’s generosity,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement. “It is especially appalling when it also involves the sexual abuse of children.”
The lawsuits were filed in the Southern District of Florida, the Northern District of Illinois, the Northern District of Texas and the Southern District of Texas.
According to the Justice Department, the citizenship of a naturalized U.S. citizen can be revoked under the Immigration and Nationality Act if naturalization was illegally procured through the concealment of information.
The individuals include:
- Jorge Luis Alvarado, 56, a native of Mexico. Alvarado became a citizen on March 9, 2000 and pleaded guilty in 2007 to committing indecency with a child by sexual contact. The DOJ says it took place shortly before filing his naturalization application.
- Alberto Mario Beleno, 64, a native of Colombia. Beleno became a citizen on Feb. 26, 2001. He pleaded guilty that year to the molestation of a minor in 1993 and 1994.
- Eleazar Corral Valenzuela, 49, a native of Mexico. Valenzuela became a citizen on June 15, 2000. The Justice Department said he sexually abused a minor child before he applied for naturalization and pleaded guilty to the charge in 2000.
- Moises Herrera-Gonzalez, 55, a native of Mexico. Herrera-Gonzalez became a citizen on Sept. 25, 1999. He pleaded guilty in 2002 of sexually assaulting a six-year-old child in 1996.
- Emmanuel Olugbenga Omopariola, 60, a native of Nigeria. Omopariola became a citizen on July 1, 2004. He pleaded guilty in 2015 to unlawful sexual contact with a seven-year-old child before he was naturalized.
The cases were referred to the Department of Justice by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the department said.
“The Department of Justice has a duty to prosecute these crimes vigorously, particularly so for individuals who commit fraud in the naturalization process,” Sessions said.
Fox News’ Jake Gibson contributed to this report.