A man who came here from Mexico and later became a U.S. Citizen has been stripped of his citizenship after he was found guilty of failing to disclose a previous conviction for child sexual assault more than 20 years ago. Jose Arizmedi is currently serving time in a prison in his native Mexico for rape according to authorities. The decision to revoke Jose Arizmendi, 54, was made yesterday by a federal court judge making him the 88th person in the last eight years to have his citizenship revoked, according to a review by SeattlePI.com.
Prior to his arrest on this most recent charge, Arizmendi had been living in Texas, making him the ninth person from the Lone Star State since 2008 to be denaturalized. Acting Assistant Attorney General Chad A. Readler said in a statement, “The Justice Department is committed to preserving the integrity of our nation’s immigration system. We will aggressively pursue denaturalization in cases where individuals lie on their naturalization applications, especially in a circumstance like this one, which involved a child sex abuser. Civil denaturalization cases are an important law enforcement tool for protecting the public, including our children.”
Mexican officials confirmed that Arizmendi, is currently serving an 18-year sentence in Mexico for the rape of a minor there. Obviously, Mr. Arizmendi did not tell immigration officials at his interview in October 1995 about his conviction six months earlier for the aggravated sexual assault of a child, according to a Department of Justice news release. The Houston Chronicle reported, Arizmendi was given 10 years of probation in that case. When officials approving his immigration request asked if he had ever been arrested or convicted of a crime, Arizmendi told them: “No.”
Arizmendi became a U.S. citizen in 1996, but immigration officials eventually uncovered the child sex assault conviction and alerted the DOJ, which initiated proceedings to strip Arizmendi of his citizenship in February 2015. Because of a 10-year statute of limitations, U.S. authorities couldn’t revoke the citizenship based on the criminal conviction. But since Arizmendi lied to immigration officials, they were able to strip it as a civil denaturalization.
“Applications for naturalization must be candid with all material facts,” Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas Abe Martinez said in a statement. “Like in this case, failing to disclose material data should result in denaturalization.”