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Citizenship process slowest in years

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Citizenship process slowest in years
September 27
10:03 2018

USCIS DENIES ALLEGATIONS OF VOTER SUPPRESSION

Newsroom/El Comercio de Colorado

The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) and other advocacy groups sued the Federal Government to provide information relating to the delay on the citizenship processes currently taking place. “Under this administration we have noticed that the wait to complete the process has increased considerably, some cases up to 20 months,” explained Jorge Mario Cabrera, spokesperson for CHIRLA.

“Applicants pay $725, they are not getting anything for free. They are paying for a service that they expect to be quick and complete,” explained Cabrera. For Cabrera, the delay is “suspicious” because this is an electoral year and it might be a way for the Trump administration to suppress votes. “Not being a citizen means not having benefits and responsibilities such as voting. We see this as a way of immigrant vote suppression, which is serious,” he said.

USCIS responds

USCIS denied any intention of suppressing votes. The entity explained that the delay in the processes of citizenship derives from an unusual increase that started since 2017 and continued this year. Activists explained that USCIS has not responded a request by the National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA), under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), and that is why the proceeded with a law suit.

NPNA had requested the Federal Government to disclose documents related to the “delay in citizenship processes.” According to USCIS, in the second quarter of 2018, the backlog of citizenship processes was 753,352 throughout the country. It also explains that in counties like Los Angeles an applicant might wait between 11.5 and 16 months for their case to be approved; while in Miami, that period can be between 16 and 21 months.

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Edición Virtual | #332 | 14 de Febrero 2019

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