Tuesday, May 17, 2016

USA v. OLIVAR: Conspiracy To Commit Criminal Acts Prior To Naturalization Can Still Result In Revocation Of Citizenship


United States of America v. Olivar, in which the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently upheld the revocation of citizenship of a naturalized person who was convicted of criminal conspiracy for acts undertaken prior to applying for naturalization.  
Olivar, a native of the Philippines,  was naturalized as a US citizen in May 2002. In the same year, Olivar began working at a law firm in the Los Angeles area. In early 2009, he was indicted on conspiracy charges in connection with a visa fraud scheme. Olivar and a second invidual recruited  people who were not authorized to work in the U.S., charging them anywhere between $1,000 and $7,500 to find a business that would sponsor them for an employment-based immigrant visa. Olivar eventually pled guilty to conspiracy to commit visa fraud in April 2009 in violation of 18 USC 2, 371 and 1546 and was sentenced to just over one year in jail. Federal authorities later started efforts to revoke his citizenship, claiming he lacked good moral character in the five year period leading up to naturalization in May 2002 based on unlawful acts that adversely reflected upon his good moral character. These acts involved a conspiracy to commit visa fraud, which was a crime involving moral turpitude.


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