Tearing Down the Second Wall: Ending USCIS's Backlog of Citizenship Applications and Expanding Access to Naturalization for Immigrants (Third Addendum to Second Wall Report)

by Diego Iñiguez-López

Jul 2, 2018

In the last year, over 925,000 people applied for citizenship in the United States. For many, this was years after coming to this country in search of a better life, becoming an integral part of communities across the nation, learning English, working hard, and contributing to their families and the economy. The right to naturalize is a right as old as the nation itself and was envisioned by its founders, created by the Constitution, and codified by federal law. It has also long contributed to the diversity, richness, and strength of the nation. Unfortunately, since the Trump administration took control of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the federal agency that processes citizenship applications, the backlog of pending naturalization applications has skyrocketed to 729,400, with processing rates reaching as high as 20 months. The newest data from USCIS represents an 87.59% increase above the backlog of 388,832 applications, on December 31, 2015, during the administration of President Obama. This backlog serves as a "second wall" that prevents eligible lawful permanent residents from becoming citizens and voters. NPNA is demanding that USCIS takes aggressive steps to reduce the backlog of citizenship applications and reduce the waiting time for applicants down to six months.

Tearing Down the Second Wall: Ending USCIS's Backlog of Citizenship Applications and Expanding Access to Naturalization for Immigrants (Third Addendum to Second Wall Report)
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