The federal government has started the process of revoking the citizenship of 3,100 people suspected of lying to become Canadians.
Speaking at a news conference on Ottawa Monday, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said the federal government is "applying the full strength of Canadian law" to crack down on individuals suspected of obtaining citizenship fraudulently or falsifying information required for permanent residency.
"Canadian citizenship is not for sale," Kenney told reporters. "We are taking action to strip citizenship and permanent residence status from people who don't play by the rules and who lie or cheat to become a Canadian citizen."
CBC News has learned cabinet has revoked the citizenship of 19 out of the 3,100 people using cabinet orders so far. The orders in council do not include the names of the individuals and the government will not release the names.
To date, letters have been sent to at least 500 of the 3,100 or so citizens suspected of fraud. Individuals may appeal to the Federal Court to stop the process.
If they don't respond to their letters, requests to revoke citizenship go to cabinet. The entire process is expected to take months.
This crackdown on fraudulent citizenships is part of an investigation into some 11,000 people who may be lying to apply for citizenship or maintain permanent resident status.
Kenney's department is working closely with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and Canadian offices abroad to track down suspicious cases.