In the past few years, immigrants in Michigan and the rest of the United States have faced perhaps the greatest uncertainty in modern times. This is not just true of illegal immigrants, but legal permanent residents and naturalized citizens. In fact, it is now widely said that naturalized Americans have become second-class citizens. How so? Naturalization is no longer a guarantee of your permanency. In fact, the naturalization itself is not permanent and may be stripped away.

Forbes notes that in the summer of 2018, the director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services mentioned that he had launched a task force to denaturalize American immigrants. The task force was specifically charged with looking for instances where immigrants lied about or changed their identities to receive green cards or citizenship.

The director insisted that minor infractions would be overlooked. However, as Forbes pointed out, the directives were so general that this left a lot open to interpretation. It was up to individual agents to decide whether or not an infraction was minor, and thus, whether or not legal action would follow. Also, some of the questions asked are so general that almost anyone may omit information unintentionally.

A question that critics often bring to the table is one asking immigrants whether or not they have ever committed or been an accomplice to a crime for which they were not arrested. If you said no and were later found guilty of speeding without being caught, an agent had the right to make the call about whether or not you could be deported. The same might be said about someone who neglected to add a nickname on the application sheet. Naturally, these are extreme cases. However, as recent immigration policies and executed orders have shown, extreme cases are not unlikely.

It is this lingering possibility that causes immigrants sleepless nights. Something certainly needs to be done about immigrants who materially misrepresent themselves. Even so, many argue that denaturalization is not the correct answer. It is a tall order asking immigrants to learn to love a country that may discard them at any second over nicknames or clocking 5 MPH over the speed limit that one time 20 years ago.

This article provides information on de-naturalization and should not be interpreted as legal advice.