Crime

Sarasota woman stripped of citizenship and set to be deported

46-year-old Sarasota woman has been denaturalized and sentenced to six months in prison for obtaining her U.S. citizenship by lying to immigration authorities.

Munia Parvin, who also goes by Zarrin Hoque, pleaded guilty to the charges Sept. 26, according to acting U.S. Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow. She has been stripped of her citizenship and is subject to be deported to Bangladesh.

Court documents show Parvin first applied for asylum protection in the U.S. in 1993. At the time, she said she fled Bangladesh and could face persecution if she returned.

But the Immigration and Naturalization Service denied her request in November 1996, ordering Parvin to appear before a judge for potential deportation proceedings.

About a year later, the court set a date for Parvin to depart the country. When she refused to do so, a warrant was issued for her arrest and removal from the United States.

The prosecutor says that’s when Parvin assumed the identity of Zarrin Hoque and filed for legal protection and permanent residency in the United States, using a new name and a “different set of biographical data.”

Parvin applied for and received her citizenship June 4, 2012. In that paperwork, Parvin denied the use of prior names, orders of deportation and lying to immigration officials.

“When individuals lie on immigration documents, the system is severely undermined and the security of our nation is put at risk,” said Homeland Security Investigations Tampa Special Agent in Charge James C. Spero.

Investigators later used photographic and fingerprint evidence to determine that Parvin and Hoque were the same person. The investigation was part of “Operation Second Look,” a nationwide Homeland Security initiative to review the files of residents ordered to deport the country, and is one of four similar cases in the Tampa Bay area.

Ryan Callihan: 941-745-7095, @RCCallihan

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