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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Texas

Friday, July 21, 2017

Indian Man Convicted For Using Fake Identity To Obtain Citizenship

HOUSTON - An Indian man who was ordered deported from the United States has been convicted for using a fake identity to obtain citizenship, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez.


Balbir Singh aka Ranjit Singh, 50, who resided in Houston, had previously attempted to obtain asylum under false pretenses. When that attempt failed, an immigration judge then ordered his deportation from the United States, thus making him ineligible to ever become a naturalized citizen.


However, instead of leaving the country, he changed his name, date of birth, the manner in which he entered the United States and his familial history so that he could obtain lawful immigration status, and later naturalization, based on a marriage to a United States citizen. In the process of obtaining this citizenship, he denied ever being ordered deported, seeking asylum or using a different identity.


In addition, Singh sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in 2013. In it, he complained about the anxiety and frustration he experienced in having to wait for an extended period at the airport every time he returned from an international trip due to discrepancies in his biometric information. He requested DHS clear these discrepancies.


After obtaining citizenship, a fingerprint comparison established the man ordered previously ordered deported from the United States - Balbir Singh – and the man who later became a naturalized citizen - Ranjit Singh - were one in the same.


U.S. District Judge Ewing Werlein Jr. accepted the plea and has set sentencing for Oct. 13, 2017. At that time, Singh faces up to 10 years in federal prison, a maximum $250,000 possible fine, revocation of his citizenship and enforcement of his outstanding deportation order.


U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam Goldman is prosecuting the case.

Updated July 21, 2017