DOJ Announces Denaturalization Complaints Against Somali Diversity Visa Immigrants

Attorney General Jeff Sessions / Getty Images

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Four individuals who pretended to be a family and arrived in the United States from Somalia through the controversial diversity visa program are now the subject of civil complaints seeking their denaturalization, the Department of Justice announced Monday.

The complaints were filed by the Department of Justice, Department of State, and Department of Homeland Security, challenging Fosia Abdi Adan, Ahmed Mohamed Warsame, Mustaf Abdi Adan, and Faysal Jama Mire. According to the Justice Department, the four came to the United States claiming to be part of a family, ultimately naturalizing on the basis of this apparently false contention.

"I previously taught civics classes, and saw firsthand how hard people work to come to the United States legally and honestly," said Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke. "They were so proud of their accomplishments. It is out of respect for those people that we cannot tolerate fraud, deception, and abuse of our legal immigration system. Fraudulently obtained citizenship is an affront to our American values, the rule of law, and all those who honestly attained their immigration status."

The four coordinated after Fosia Adan, 51, received a diversity visa in January of 2001. Under fictional identities, Fosia and Ahmed, 54, claimed to be married, with Mustaf, 33, and Faysal, 31, pretending to be their children. Fosia and Ahmed subsequently obtained a divorce in Minnesota, maintaining their fictitious identities in the separation.

Both Fosia and Ahmed naturalized in 2006; Faysal and Mustaf naturalized in 2010 and 2013, respectively. If, as the Justice Department alleges, their naturalizations were predicated on lies, all four can be denaturalized in compliance with the Immigration and Nationality Act.

"The current immigration system is easily abused by fraudsters and nefarious actors, and that’s certainly true of the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program. If the fraud is not detected and swift enforcement actions are not taken, chain migration only multiplies the consequences of this abuse. Unfortunately, there are many instances of fraud across our immigration system. The American people deserve a better system that works for them, and the Department of Justice will continue its efforts to deliver one to them," said Attorney General Jeff Sessions

The diversity lottery, one of the ways in which a foreign national can obtain a visa, has been the subject of controversy after President Donald Trump announced that Sayfullo Saipov, the Uzbekistani immigrant who killed eight people in New York last week, was a beneficiary of the program.

Trump has subsequently called for ending the diversity visa program, promising that his immigration plan would instead aim to be a "merit-based system."

Charles Fain Lehman

Charles Fain Lehman   Email Charles | Full Bio | RSS
Charles Fain Lehman is a staff writer for the Washington Free Beacon. He writes about policy, especially crime, law, drugs, and social issues. Reach him on twitter (@CharlesFLehman) or by email at lehman@freebeacon.com.

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