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Journal Article

Revoking Your Citizenship: Minimizing the Likelihood of Administrative Error

Catherine Yonsoo Kim
Columbia Law Review
Vol. 101, No. 6 (Oct., 2001), pp. 1448-1478
DOI: 10.2307/1123749
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1123749
Page Count: 31
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Revoking Your Citizenship: Minimizing the Likelihood of Administrative Error
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Abstract

In 1996, against a backdrop of partisan criticism of its Citizenship USA naturalization campaign, the Immigration and Naturalization Service promulgated regulations implementing, for the first time, an administrative procedure to revoke citizenship of naturalized citizens. Prior to this, naturalization could be revoked through judicial proceedings only. The 1996 system of administrative denaturalization, amended in 2000, provided significantly fewer procedural safeguards to protect against mistaken revocations of citizenship. Fortunately, the Ninth Circuit invalidated the regulations on the narrow ground of statutory interpretation. However, the threat of a reinstitution of administrative denaturalization persists. This Note sets forth the procedural protections that must accompany any future system of administrative denaturalization: the provision of competent and impartial decision makers and a strict burden of proof. The Note argues that, if we are to tolerate administrative denaturalization at all, these safeguards are necessary to minimize the likelihood of administrative error and to safeguard the fundamental right of citizenship.

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