Agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) unit apprehended this week a resident of Crown Point, Indiana after being indicted on a felony charge of fraudulently obtaining U.S. citizenship after emigrating from Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Charges were filed following an investigation by HSI and ICE’s Violators and War Crimes Center. HSI conducted its investigation with assistance from officials in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Alexander Kneginich, 56, told multiple lies to U.S. immigration authorities in the course of obtaining rights to enter the United States, which enabled him to receive permanent-resident status and, ultimately, resulted in full U.S. citizenship.
His indictment alleges that the individual knowingly failed to disclose in his application that he served in Bosnian Serb Army units during the Balkans conflict in the 1990’s and that he knowingly failed to disclose that he had been jailed in Bosnia for the 1994 murders of two Muslim civilians. The individual’s indictment also alleges Kneginich falsely stated that he had never lied to investigators to obtain his immigration benefits.
“Cases where people lie about their past in order to cheat the nation’s immigration system are among HSI’s highest investigative priorities,” Steve Francis, acting special agent in-charge of HSI’s Detroit office, said. “As an agency, these cases take particular precedence when the individual’s past may include human-rights violations.”
Since 2004, ICE has arrested more than 375 individuals for human rights-related violations of the law under various criminal and/or immigration statutes and has obtained deportation orders, physically removing more than 815 known or suspected human rights violators from the United States.