Trump Administration "Strangles" Naturalization
Our Vision: One Million Citizens by 2020
Will You Join Us in Taking a Stand?
Volunteers assist a prospective citizen with their naturalization paperwork. Photo credit: One America
The New York Times reports on the “2nd Wall” of barriers that exist for individuals seeking citizenship. " 'Far from the public eye, the Trump administration is strangling the naturalization process,' said Steven Choi, a chair of the National Partnership for New Americans, a coalition of advocacy groups that is pursuing to offer naturalization workshops and legal services to would-be citizens." NY Times, 2-21-19.
We refuse to be denied democracy.
Today the National Partnership for New Americans released a report, "Democracy Strangled: Second Wall of Barriers to Citizenship Risks Preventing Hundreds of Thousands of Immigrants From Naturalizing and Becoming Voters in Presidential Election of 2020."
Citizenship backlogs of more than 750,000 applications and processing delays have skyrocketed and the Trump administration has proposed a series of regulations that limit access to citizenship for low income individuals, the elderly, and immigrants with disabilities from Latin America, Africa and the Middle East.
How does this affect your community?
Over 750,000 individuals have filed citizenship applications, paying their fees and can wait up to two years for U.S.C.I.S to process their file. This wall is preventing individuals from being sworn in as U.S. citizens.
Processing delays are so long in some regions that eligible immigrants who have already applied risk not being processed, naturalized, and then having the ability to register to vote in time for the Presidential election of 2020. This is an attack on an individual's right for civic engagement and suppresses democracy in our communities.
This risk already exists in Miami, FL; Atlanta, GA; Houston, TX; Fort Myers, FL; Fort Smith, AR; Dallas, TX; Memphis, TN; Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN; Montgomery, AL; Newark, NJ; New Orleans, LA; New York City, NY; Oakland Park, FL; Orlando, FL; Philadelphia, PA; Queens, NY; Reno, NV; and Washington, D.C., and will arise in other regions as the year progresses.
How are we fighting back? What can you do?
NPNA is launching the “One Million Citizens by 2020,’ a nationwide effort to encourage new Americans who are eligible to naturalize and to do so now before time runs out to vote in 2020.
We will conduct education and outreach and launch a record number of citizenship clinics encouraging lawful permanent residents (LPRs) who qualify to apply now in order for the applications to move through the sluggish bureaucratic process.
Will you participate? If so, please add your naturalization event.
Are you eligible or know someone who is eligible to apply for citizenship? Find a naturalization event or local partner to assist you with the naturalization process.
This effort will take every one of us who believe in the right of New Americans to receive equal and fair treatment from USCIS and for new citizens to exercise their right to vote. We must stand strong against the Second Wall that wants to keep eligible immigrants from fully participating in this nation’s democracy. Please echo our message using our social media toolkit with suggested posts.
We hope you will join us. Our communities depend on each other.