Criminal Defense of Immigrants


§ 3.16 c. Naturalization

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A person may also have acquired U.S. citizenship by naturalization, either by filing his or her own application as an adult, or during the client’s childhood by application of a U.S. citizen parent, generally followed by a swearing-in ceremony.[52]  Until the swearing in has occurred, the person is not a naturalized United States citizen.[53] 


                Naturalization may, in some cases, act as a form of relief from removal.  See § 24.13, infra, for a discussion of the requirements for naturalization.

[52] See INA § § 310 et seq., 8 U.S.C. § § 1410 et seq.

[53] See, e.g., Abiodun v. Gonzalez, 461 F.3d 1210 (10th Cir. Aug. 30, 2006) (signing oath of allegiance during naturalization examination insufficient to confer citizenship); Okafor v. Gonzales, 456 F.3d 531 (5th Cir. Jul. 18, 2006) (signing oath insufficient to confer citizenship; it is necessary to participate in public ceremony pledging allegiance to the United States and renouncing all former allegiances to foreign states and sovereignties); Omolo v. Gonzales, 452 F.3d 404 (5th Cir. Jun. 12, 2006) (person may become a United States national only by birth or by completing the naturalization process); Tovar-Alvarez v. U.S. Att’y Gen., 427 F.3d 1350 (11th Cir. Oct. 13, 2005) (noncitizen must participate in public citizenship ceremony in order to fully naturalize); United States v. Hovsepian, 422 F.3d 883 (9th Cir. Sept. 6, 2005) (district court’s decision to administer oath of citizenship affirmed where district court’s finding that they were persons of Good Moral Character was not clearly erroneous).