A native-Mexican US citizen has been stripped of his US citizenship after he was found to have been involved in a sexual assault case against a child 20 years ago. This marks the 88th citizenship revocation to occur in the US over the last year.

The Decision

The US citizenship has been stripped from a Mexican Immigrant, 54-year-old Jose Arizmendi, after he was found not to have disclosed a previous case where he was convicted of sexually assaulting a child 20 years ago.

According to SeattlePI.com’s review, this marks the 88th person since last year to have had their citizenship revoked.

“The Justice Department is committed to preserving the integrity of our nation’s immigration system,” Chad A. Readler, the Acting Assistant of the Attorney General said. “We will aggressively pursue denaturalization in cases where individuals lie on their naturalization applications, especially in a circumstance like this one, which involved a child sex abuser. Civil denaturalization cases are an important law enforcement tool for protecting the public, including our children.”

How He Became a Citizen

Arizmendi became a US citizen in 1996. Upon his immigration request, when officials asked him if he were ever convicted or arrested for a crime, he said: “No.” Immigration later found out about the conviction and sent an alert to the Department of Justice. This prompted proceedings to take the citizenship away from Arizmendi in February 2015.  However, due to the 10-year “statute of limitations,” the US citizenship couldn’t be taken away only because of the criminal conviction. However, because Arizmendi lied they were able to do so as “A civil denaturalization.”

“Applications for naturalization must be candid with all material facts,” Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas Abe Martinez said in a statement. “Like in this case, failing to disclose material data should result in denaturalization.”