United States v. Zhou

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Immigration
  • Date Filed: 03-07-2016
  • Case #: 14-55027
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Owens for the Court; Circuit Judges Berzon and Davis
  • Full Text Opinion

The government may revoke a citizen’s naturalization if it was procured illegally.

In 1985, Teng Jiao Zhou emigrated from China. In 1993, he applied for naturalization. The following year, while the naturalization process was still pending, Zhou was convicted of false imprisonment and robbery as a result of an altercation with a former business associate. Zhou continued to seek citizenship. As part of the process, Zhou was asked whether he had “knowingly committed any crime” for which he was not arrested. He answered no, took his oath of allegiance and was granted naturalized citizenship. Zhou was subsequently arrested and convicted for his prior criminal activity. In 2013, the government sought to revoke Zhou’s naturalization as a result of Zhou’s unlawful conduct. Persons seeking naturalization are required to show good moral character for the five years preceding their naturalization. The district court granted the revocation. Zhou appealed. The Ninth Circuit held that the government may revoke a citizen’s naturalization if it was procured illegally. Zhou’s failure to notify the government of his conviction of a crime of moral turpitude indicated a failure to maintain good moral character during the relevant time period, even though the crime occurred before naturalization and his conviction occurred after naturalization. Zhou’s naturalization was therefore procured illegally and should be revoked. AFFIRMED.

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