The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (U.S.C.I.S.) had formed a task force in order to identify people who lied on their citizenship applications and to denaturalize them.
…Historically, denaturalization has been an exceedingly rare occurrence, for good reason: by the time a person is naturalized, she has lived in this country for a number of years and has passed the hurdles of obtaining entry, legal permanent residency, and, finally, citizenship. The conceit of naturalization is that it makes an immigrant not only equal to natural-born citizens but indistinguishable from them. So denaturalization, much like the process of stripping a natural-born American of citizenship, has been an extraordinary procedure reserved for very serious cases, mostly those of war criminals.
…The creation of the task force itself is undoing the naturalization of the more than twenty million naturalized citizens in the American population by taking away their assumption of permanence. All of them—all of us—are second-class citizens now. The President calls immigrants “animals.” The Attorney General presumes that everyone crossing the border—or at least the southern border—is a criminal.
…Question 26 on the green-card application, for example, reads, “Have you EVER committed a crime of any kind (even if you were not arrested, cited, charged with, or tried for that crime)?” (Emphasis in the original.) The question does not specify whether it refers to a crime under current U.S. law or the laws of the country in which the crime might have been committed. In the Soviet Union of my youth, it was illegal to possess foreign currency or to spend the night anywhere you were not registered to live. In more than seventy countries, same-sex sexual activity is still illegal. On closer inspection, just about every naturalized citizen might look like an outlaw, or a liar.