Does DUI cause people to lose citizenship?

allaboutgc

Registered Users (C)
Hello,

One of my friends was caught DUI after he attended a friend's wedding. He was just naturalized to citizen about 2 weeks ago, and have yet to receive his passport (he applied but the processing time takes 1 month). He was very worried and was asking me if he could risk losing his new citizenship because of this incident. Can anyone shed a light on this issue? What action could cause the loss of citizenship? Thanks for relying.
 

Jackolantern

Registered Users (C)
Crimes committed after naturalization cannot result in revocation of US citizenship, unless the crime is so serious that it rises to the level of treason (e.g. joining the Taliban to attack American forces) or are otherwise so anti-America that they are deemed incompatible with US citizenship.

However, crimes committed before naturalization can result in revocation if they were not disclosed during the naturalization process.

Was the DUI before or after he became a US citizen? If it was after, he has nothing to worry about.
 

TheRealCanadian

Volunteer Moderator
Crimes committed after naturalization cannot result in revocation of US citizenship, unless the crime is so serious that it rises to the level of treason (e.g. joining the Taliban to attack American forces) or are otherwise so anti-America that they are deemed incompatible with US citizenship.

The severity of the crime is irrelevant. The only way one can get denaturalized is if they were planning on committing the crime prior to natrualization, and the government can prove this to a federal judge.

The 14th Amendment prevents the government from denaturalizing a US citizen if a natural-born citizen would not suffer the same punishment.
 

Jackolantern

Registered Users (C)
The severity of the crime is irrelevant.
Severity alone is not the sole factor, but severity is definitely relevant. You can't lose your citizenship for a post-naturalization misdemeanor. The only crimes that can result in that are very serious ones, generally at the level of threatening/attacking national security, and a born US citizen would also be subject to loss of citizenship for the same crimes.

The 14th Amendment prevents the government from denaturalizing a US citizen if a natural-born citizen would not suffer the same punishment.
Yes, and I never wrote anything to the contrary (other than the mention of pre-naturalization crimes).
 
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TheRealCanadian

Volunteer Moderator
Severity alone is not the sole factor, but severity is definitely relevant. You can't lose your citizenship for a post-naturalization misdemeanor. The only crimes that can result in that are very serious ones, generally at the level of threatening/attacking national security, and a born US citizen would also be subject to loss of citizenship for the same crimes.

Can you cite a single case? Not even treason can cause you to lose citizenship.
 

baikal3

Registered Users (C)
Can you cite a single case? Not even treason can cause you to lose citizenship.

The current law does specify certain crimes that can lead to a loss of U.S. citizenship (for all citizens, natural-born and not natural-born). This includes treason, see 8 USC § 1481 (a)(7), http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/8/1481 and http://travel.state.gov/law/citizenship/citizenship_778.html

However, the language of the law says that even in this case, in order to lose U.S. citizenship, the person must commit the crime in question "with the intention of relinquishing United States nationality". I don't know if there have been any actual cases after WWII when a loss of U.S. citizenship for treason actually happened.
 

allaboutgc

Registered Users (C)
Thank you for your reply. The incident happened two weeks after he was naturalized. But the problem is he still has not received his passport. I thought he is "officially" a citizen only after he receives his passport. Am I correct?

Crimes committed after naturalization cannot result in revocation of US citizenship, unless the crime is so serious that it rises to the level of treason (e.g. joining the Taliban to attack American forces) or are otherwise so anti-America that they are deemed incompatible with US citizenship.

However, crimes committed before naturalization can result in revocation if they were not disclosed during the naturalization process.

Was the DUI before or after he became a US citizen? If it was after, he has nothing to worry about.
 

baikal3

Registered Users (C)
Thank you for your reply. The incident happened two weeks after he was naturalized. But the problem is he still has not received his passport. I thought he is "officially" a citizen only after he receives his passport. Am I correct?

Certainly not. You officially become a U.S. citizen at the moment you take the naturalization oath at the naturalization oath ceremony.
 

WBH

Registered Users (C)
Most US citizens don't even have passports. These are only travel documents. Citizenship is a status.

Is there a law that says certain crimes commited by a citizen prevent him from getting a passport? I can ony guess not since
there is no questions like "Have you ever been arrested?" on passport application forms
 

Jackolantern

Registered Users (C)
Is there a law that says certain crimes commited by a citizen prevent him from getting a passport?

Being delinquent on child support can result in refusal of passport.

I can ony guess not since
there is no questions like "Have you ever been arrested?" on passport application forms

That doesn't mean they don't do background checks to find out if you are somebody who is not allowed to leave the country, like an escaped convict or somebody who has been bailed out and is awaiting trial for a felony.
 

Triple Citizen

Registered Users (C)
He has nothing to worry as far as his citizenship status is concerned. He should however look into becoming a teetotaller for the greater good of his fellow citizens.

He was very worried and was asking me if he could risk losing his new citizenship because of this incident.
 

WBH

Registered Users (C)
He has nothing to worry as far as his citizenship status is concerned. He should however look into becoming a teetotaller for the greater good of his fellow citizens.

That is why citizenship eligibility should be limited to those applicants with DUI records. These people already learned
their lession and will behave themselves after becoming citizens. Those with clean recordss have no such concept and
will still possibly commit a DUI after natualization
 

cafeconleche

Registered Users (C)
Haha, I beg to differ. The reason I don't have a DUI is precisely BECAUSE I am responsible, and don't need to learn that lesson the hard way. Still, many criminal offences that prevent people from being naturalised (and lead to their deportation) shouldn't have this effect, I think. Sometimes, you make a mistake.
 
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