Button 3 Button 1 Button 2 Button 4 Button 5 Button 6
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google
Free Initial Consultation | Se habla español 630-932-9100
Mevorah Law Offices LLC
DuPage County Attorneys


900 E. Roosevelt Road, Lombard, IL 60148

Phone: 630-932-9100


134 N. Bloomingdale Road, Bloomingdale, IL 60108

Phone: 630-529-4761


333 N. Randall Road, Suite 104, St. Charles, IL 60175

Phone: 630-443-0600


58 N. Chicago Street, Suite 500, Joliet, IL 60432

Phone: 815-727-4500


105 W. Madison Street, Suite 2200, Chicago, IL 60602

Phone: 630-932-9100

Supreme Court Makes it Harder to Revoke Citizenship

Posted on in Immigration
  • Font size: Larger Smaller
  • Hits: 732
  • Print

Chicago deportation defense attorneys, revoke citizenship, citizenship application, deportation order, deportationTo lie on one’s application for United States citizenship can put you in deportation proceedings if the lie is ever discovered. Historically, any lie, even the most inconsequential falsehood about petty issues, was grounds for revocation of citizenship. However, in June 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a ruling that changed this—a ruling that will be significant for many future immigrants who decide to naturalize.

The Ruling

The Court was unanimous in its ruling in favor of Divna Maslenjak, an ethnic Serb originally from Bosnia, who admitted to lying on her application for refugee status about her husband’s military service. Both of the last two administrations have held that this made her deportable, and indeed she and her husband were both deported in October 2016.

The lower courts’ ruling on the issue held that federal immigration law required deportation of anyone who admitted to willfully lying on their application for citizenship or refugee status—the relevant law actually suggests imprisonment, but it is common to simply deport non-citizens instead.

Justice Kagan wrote the majority opinion, stating on behalf of her colleagues that the interpretation given to this particular law by the administration was incorrect on its face (as opposed to wrong in practice). Historically, the Immigration & Nationality Act (INA) was interpreted to mean that any lie, no matter how inconsequential or irrelevant, was instant grounds for deportation. The justices understandably questioned the amount of discretion this would give federal prosecutors in reviewing which cases to try. In theory, at any point, in theory, a citizen could be ambushed by the government alleging they had lied about a 30-year old ticket or infraction with no relevance to today. Across the board, the Court voted against such wide discretion, holding that only a relevant lie on citizenship or refugee applications should result in revocation of status..

Potential Implications for Others

This ruling may not actually help Ms. Maslenjak—her case is now sent back to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals for retrial, to determine whether her lie was relevant to her citizenship application or not. However, this is an important case simply because of the precedent it sets, especially in an age where immigrants (both with and without documentation) are facing unprecedented scrutiny. It gives those who may have lied or concealed information out of shame or personal privacy concerns a way to retain their citizenship legally and ethically, while still allowing §1425 of the INA to catch those whose lies are very relevant to their obtaining immigration benefits. 

A good example is the case of Rasmea Odeh. Odeh was born in what is today Israel, and in her youth was convicted of terrorism for participating in a bombing in Jerusalem in 1969. She said she was tortured into confessing by Israeli forces, but the claim was never substantiated. Either way, she immigrated to the United States upon her release in a prisoner exchange. She became a citizen in 2004, having stated twice that she had no criminal record of any kind. Some years later, Odeh was outed to immigration enforcement, tried and convicted of immigration fraud. Despite her protestations, her lie was extremely relevant to her ability to obtain immigration benefits—a conviction for terrorism renders one inadmissible and cannot be waived. 

Consult an Immigration Attorney 

One should not lie on official documents. However, it is still important to be aware of the potential outcomes if you did so in the past. The talented Chicago deportation defense attorneys at Mevorah Law Offices LLC will do our best to give you all the information you need to make an informed decision on your future. Contact us today to set up an initial appointment.




  • DuPage County Immigration Lawyers
  • Elite Lawyers
  • National Association of Distinguished Counsel
  • Top 40 Under 40
  • 2015 Top 40 Lawyers Under 40
  • Super Lawyers

Let us start helping you with a FREE initial consultation.

NOTE: Fields with a * indicate a required field.

One Stop For All Your Legal Needs

Whether you are going through a divorce, injured in an accident, need to file a workers' compensation claim, charged with a crime, immigrating to the United States, or need to file for bankruptcy, Mevorah Law Offices LLC can help. Our trial lawyers have over 35 years of experience helping clients throughout Northern Illinois from five offices in Lombard, Bloomindale, Joliet, St. Charles, and Chicago.

Steven Mevorah has assembled experienced attorneys under one roof so that his clients need not search for a new attorney each time they need help. Mr. Mevorah has also established a wide network of additional attorneys so that his clients merely need to stop by Mevorah Law Offices LLC to find the attorney they need.

Client Focused Representation

Our practice is focused on meeting your needs with flexible hours and locations to serve you:

  • Free initial consultations
  • Saturday and evening appointments available
  • Home and hospital visits if your injuries prevent you from traveling
  • Multiple locations throughout Chicagoland
  • Veteran trial attorneys
  • Experienced negotiators
  • Payment plans available
  • Cash, check, or credit card accepted