FilAms Protest US Citizenship Application Delays

By Cynthia De Castro/

Citizenship applications typically take about seven months to process. An increase in applications, however, has caused delays as long as 18 months, the USCIS reported.

“We’re really encouraging the USCIS who increased the fee to $675, which is very, very difficult for a lot of working families, to process those applications. They increased the fee supposedly to be able to augment the resources to make that happen quicker, ” said Bobby dela Cruz of the Service Employees International Union.

The crowd sang God Bless America and waved American flags. Some wore T-shirts that read, “We waited in line, we followed the rules. Citizens 7/4/08. Don’t break the promise.”

The rally was organized by the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, which tries to help improve the lives of working families, said Matthew Henderson, the organization’s southwest regional director.

State Rep. Roberto Alonzo, D-Dallas, who was at the protest, said he found it ironic that the delays coincided with a presidential election. “The same [delays] occurred in 1996,” he said, “and those people were able to participate in the election.”

The group boarded buses after the demonstration and headed to the office of Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison to deliver letters asking for her support.


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