Indian convicted in US for using fake identity to get citizenship
Balbir Singh, a resident of Houston, had attempted to obtain asylum under false pretences.world Updated: Jul 22, 2017 08:19 IST
An Indian man, who was ordered deported, has been convicted for using fake identity to obtain American citizenship, an acting US attorney has said.
Balbir Singh aka Ranjit Singh, 50, faces up to 10 years in federal prison, a maximum $250,000 possible fine, revocation of his citizenship and enforcement of his outstanding deportation order.
According to acting US attorney Abe Martinez, Balbir Singh had previously attempted to obtain asylum under false pretences. When that attempt failed, an immigration judge then ordered his deportation from the US, thus making him ineligible to ever become a naturalised citizen.
A resident of Houston, Singh, instead of leaving the country, changed his name, date of birth, the manner in which he entered the US and his familial history so that he could obtain lawful immigration status, and later naturalisation, based on a marriage to a US citizen.
In the process of obtaining the citizenship, he denied ever being ordered deported, seeking asylum or using a different identity.
“In addition, Singh sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in 2013. In it, he complained about the anxiety and frustration he experienced in having to wait for an extended period at the airport every time he returned from an international trip due to discrepancies in his biometric information. He requested DHS clear these discrepancies,” the Justice Department said.
After obtaining the citizenship, a fingerprint comparison established the man previously ordered deported from the US (Balbir Singh) and the man who later became a naturalised citizen (Ranjit Singh) were one and the same.
Accepting the plea, US district judge Ewing Werlein set sentencing for October 13.