Consequences of Lying on a Citizenship Application: A Case Study of Nada Radovan

The process of obtaining citizenship in the United States is a significant milestone for many immigrants. It grants them numerous privileges and rights. However, it is crucial to approach this process with honesty and integrity.

Lying on a citizenship application can have severe consequences, as demonstrated by the case of Nada Radovan Tomanic, a Bosnian immigrant who now faces up to 20 years in prison for allegedly providing false information during her naturalization process.

The Case of Nada Radovan Tomanic

Nada Radovan Tomanic, a 51-year-old Bosnian immigrant residing in West Virginia, has been accused by the DOJ of lying during her naturalization process. According to the DOJ, Tomanic allegedly served in the Special Unit Zulfikar of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Army during the armed conflict in the 1990s.

The accusations further state that she participated in the physical and mental abuse of Serbian prisoners based on their ethnicity, religion, and social group affiliation.

Tomanic’s arrest took place in Morgantown, West Virginia, after being charged with criminal offenses related to obtaining U.S. citizenship through deception. The DOJ claims that she falsely declared on her naturalization application that she had not persecuted anyone based on their religion, social group, or political opinion, and that she had never committed any unarrested crimes.

Significance of Lying on a Citizenship Application

Lying during the immigration process, particularly when seeking naturalization, is a serious offense. Ezequiel Hernández, an immigration lawyer based in Phoenix, Arizona, emphasizes the two aspects of this offense: making false statements and submitting fraudulent documents or testimonies.

The DOJ argues that Tomanic enjoyed the privileges of U.S. citizenship for over a decade, allegedly obtained by concealing human rights abuses committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri of the DOJ’s Criminal Division asserts that the U.S. will vigorously enforce its immigration laws to ensure that it does not serve as a safe haven for persecutors.

Roberts Avery, the federal prosecutor for the District of Connecticut, highlights that Tomanic concealed her past human rights abuses and repeatedly lied during the immigration and naturalization processes.

The collaborative efforts of investigative partners from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and international human rights organizations played a crucial role in advancing the case.

Consequences of Lying

Lying during any stage of the immigration process, whether it be for a green card or naturalization, holds severe implications. Hernández cautions that every statement made and every document submitted in the naturalization application can be used against the applicant if false information is discovered. The repercussions can be lasting.

Some common lies recorded in naturalization applications involve the number of times an individual entered the U.S., any instances of illegal entry, criminal history, previous marriages or divorces, and concealing marital status.

If the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) uncovers information that contradicts the applicant’s declaration, the requested benefit can be denied. If the benefit has already been granted, the USCIS initiates a process to potentially revoke residency or citizenship, opening the door to deportation.

Investigating the Case

The DOJ’s investigation into Nada Tomanic’s case involved various agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and international partners such as the Center for Violators of Human Rights and War Crimes. The FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division, together with the USCIS’s Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate, worked in coordination with international human rights units.

The DOJ expressed its gratitude to the Ministries of Justice of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia, as well as the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals, for their vital contributions to the investigation.

It is important to note that an accusation is not equivalent to guilt, and every accused individual is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Conclusion

The case of Nada Radovan Tomanic serves as a stark reminder of the consequences of lying on a citizenship application. Honesty and integrity are fundamental throughout the immigration process, from obtaining a green card to seeking naturalization. Lying can lead to the denial of benefits, the revocation of citizenship, imprisonment, and potential deportation.

As aspiring citizens, it is essential to understand the gravity of providing false information and the impact it can have on our lives. By upholding honesty and integrity, we can ensure a fair and just immigration system that protects the rights and privileges of all.