Naturalization Backlog Is Growing

NPNA is pushing back

From our friends at the National Partnership for New Americans:

Building a Second Wall

USCIS Backlogs Preventing Immigrants from Becoming Citizens

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 a 87.59% increase above the backlog of 388,832 applications, on December 31, 2015, during the administration of President Obama.

Read NPNA’s Latest Report and breakdown of USCIS FY2018 Q1 data to find out how the backlogs are affecting your state and city.

In response to the increasing backlog, NPNA and our partners in the Naturalize NOW Campaign are launching a national campaign, in conjunction with the release of this report update, to reduce the backlog and the waiting time for USCIS to process applications to six months, consistent with past practice, and to encourage naturalization for the millions of eligible LPRs.

To achieve these objectives, NPNA and the Naturalize NOW Campaign partners are:

  1. Building a coalition of elected officials, community partners, labor unions, faith institutions and other stakeholders to demand a reduced wait time for naturalization applications;
  2. Recruiting a growing group of Congressional members to inquire and apply scrutiny so that USCIS is accountable to the public;
  3. Filing a Freedom of Information Act request to increase transparency within the agency;
  4. Facilitating and uniting Mayors, cities, and community-based organizations in order to increase naturalization events and other efforts; and
  5. Continuing to analyze and report on USCIS data on the backlog of citizenship applications.

Join these efforts by adding your organization to our sign-on letter to USCIS Director Cissna, demanding aggressive action to reduce the backlogs and return to the six months application wait time:

Elevate these efforts and your participation through Communications – Tools Below:

For more information on this campaign, reach out to Diego Iñiguez-López at