Supreme Court Issues Pivotal Decision Concerning Denaturalization

HomeNews & EventsSupreme Court Issues Pivotal Decision Concerning Denaturalization

Immigration News & Events



Supreme Court Issues Pivotal Decision Concerning Denaturalization

Share This Post: facebooktwitterLinkedIn

On June 22, 2017, the United States Supreme Court issued a key decision for those facing denaturalization – it narrowed the grounds on which naturalized citizens can have their citizenship revoked.  The case centers around Divna Maslenjak, an ethnic Serb born in what is now Bosnia and Herzegovina.  In 2000, Ms. Maslenjak arrived in the United States as a refugee.  In 2007, her naturalization application was approved.  However, in 2013, a jury found her guilty of making false statements on her application, and she was stripped of her citizenship and deported.

The lower circuit courts had issued split decisions on the issue of whether an offense – such as a misrepresentation – must be material to the decision whether to grant naturalization before citizenship could be stripped.  Before the Supreme Court, Ms. Maslenjak’s lawyers challenged a jury instruction that allowed a conviction even if the false statement at issue did not affect the government’s decision on naturalization.  The government’s lawyers argued that there was no requirement to prove that the lie was material to the naturalization decision, but that it could strip a person’s citizenship for any lie.  Finding in favor of Ms. Maslenjak, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the offense must be materially related to the government’s decision to grant naturalization.  As Chief Justice Roberts states, the decision should help prevent “prosecutorial abuse” for those who make minor mistakes or misrepresentations on their naturalization applications.

If you or someone you know is faced with denaturalization proceedings, do not hesitate to contact Joseph & Hall P.C., PC to schedule a consultation.

Until just a few days ago, individuals born abroad to U.S. citizen parents faced different standards in acquiring their U.S. citizenship depending on whether their mother or their father were…


In an order dated June 26, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the government’s appeal of two lower court decisions blocking President Trump’s executive order banning travel from…



Recognized Leaders In
Immigration Law

Joseph & Hall P.C. is a full-service immigration law firm. We pride ourselves on being nationwide experts in all areas of immigration law, including the practice areas listed below. Our attorneys frequently are asked to speak both locally and nationally on a wide variety of immigration topics. For an overview of each practice area, please click the links below. If you have any questions about how these practice areas may apply to your case, please do not hesitate to contact our firm.


We Are Committed to Your Dreams.

Countless people dream of becoming a U.S. citizen. If your application was rejected by the USCIS, we are here to fight for your best interests.

Get in touch with us. Write us a message.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Tap Here To Schedule An Appointment
It's Fast & Easy