A North Carolina man has had his citizenship revoked after he was found to have lied on his naturalization papers about whether he ever committed a crime.
U.S. District Judge Max Cogburn Jr. ordered Wilson Rene Cagua-Anzules, 34, to leave the United States on or before April 8 after it was found out that he lied when answering the question “Have you ever committed a crime or offense for which you were not arrested?” on his naturalization application.
“Today, a federal judge stripped the U.S. citizenship of a man who did not deserve such privilege,” U.S. Attorney Jill Westmoreland Rose said in a statement. “Cagua-Anzules violated our immigration laws and compromised the integrity of our naturalization proceedings.”
An Ecuadoran, Cagua-Anzules moved to the U.S. as a legal permanent resident in 1999. While filling out his naturalization application in 2010 he answered “No” to the question, “Have you ever committed a crime or offense for which you were not arrested?” and, after an interview with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services officer, he received his certificate of naturalization in March 2011.
A year later, however, Cagua-Anzules pleaded guilty to taking indecent liberties with a child in 2010 and was sentenced to at least 15 months in prison. Court records indicated that he admitted to committing the crime in 2010, before he attempted to become a citizen – a piece of information he failed to reveal that on his naturalization application form and to the Citizenship and Immigration Services officer.
“The United States has always been a welcoming country to honest, law-abiding foreign nationals in search of freedom, prosperity and the pursuit of the American dream,” Rose said. “But make no mistake that we will prosecute those who try to cheat their way into an American citizenship.”
She added: "Liars and cheats need not apply."