CARTERET — A borough man is one of three people facing legal challenges in federal court after avoiding prior deportation attempts.

According to Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick, Baljinder Singh, also known as Davinder Singh, first came to the country on a flight from Hong Kong in 1991 and did not have a passport or other travel documents at the time, having originally come from India. At the time, Singh said he was seeking asylum under the first name Davinder. Singh was released on bond but did not appear at immigration court and was ordered deported in January 1992.

The following month, Fitzpatrick said Singh filed an asylum application under the name of Baljinder, and married a U.S. citizen before his application could be heard. He then filed for an application adjustment in 1996, which did not list his alias or immigration history. After his application was approved, he became a citizen.

Fitzpatrick said because Singh never indicated on his applications and during his immigration and naturalization cases that he had been "ordered excluded, lied about his identity and immigration history under oath," he was not eligible for permanent residency or citizenship. Because of that Fitzpatrick said the government was seeking to have his naturalization revoked.

The three people along with Singh were identified as part of Operation Janus, which identified 315,000 cases where fingerprints were missing from a central repository.

"The Justice Department is committed to preserving the integrity of our nation's immigration system, and in particular, the asylum and naturalization processes," Acting Assistant Attorney General Chad A. Readler of the Justice Department's Civil Division said. "The civil complaints charge that the defendants in these cases exploited our immigration system and unlawfully secured the ultimate immigration benefit of naturalization. The filings of these cases sends a clear message to immigration fraudsters — if you break our immigration laws, we will prosecute you and denaturalize you."

In addition to Singh, the federal government filed similar actions against Rashid Mahmood, of Pakistan, and Parvez Manzhoor Khan, also of Pakistan.

"Naturalization is one of the most sacred honors bestowed on our nation," Acting USCIS Director James W. McCament said. "USCIS takes great care and responsibility in determining to refer a case for denaturalization proceedings. We do so to send the strong message that individuals who seek to defraud the United States by obtaining naturalization unlawfully will be targeted to have their U.S. citizenship stripped."

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Contact reporter Adam Hochron at 609-359-5326 or Adam.Hochron@townsquaremedia.com

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