Immigration Law

Report: Citizenship Delayed: Civil Rights and Voting Rights Implications in the Backlog in Citizenship and Naturalization Applications

USCCR, Sept. 12, 2019

"The Colorado Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights released its
report, Citizenship Delayed: Civil Rights and Voting Rights Implications of the Backlog in
Citizenship and Naturalization Applications. The Committee examined the civil rights
implications of the backlog in citizenship and naturalization applications in U.S.
Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The report is available on our website.

Committee Chair Alvina Earnhart said: “During our study, it became evident that the
processing time for citizenship applications has surged considerably. Despite past efforts
to resolve the backlog, more needs to be done. This report provides insights for potential
solutions, and we hope that it will spur Congress to act to eliminate the backlog. Special
thanks to Committee member Ming H. Chen for her leadership and dedication to the
project.”

Key recommendations from the Committee include:

• USCIS officers should review the operational efficiency of naturalization
adjudications and ensure that adjudication processing times are consistent with
the statutory and regulatory guidelines of six months.
• Congress should hold hearings and increase USCIS accountability to statutory
mission and timelines.
• Congress should appropriate funding to USCIS to eliminate the backlog.
• States, local governments, and non-profits should participate in supporting
naturalization.

Citizenship Delayed, based on expert input and extensive research and analysis, offers
actionable recommendations to Congress; federal, state, and local agencies; and advocacy
groups. The Committee held a public briefing on the subject in February 2019, hearing
from government officials, academics, legal experts, and members of the public. We invite
you to view video and the transcript of the briefing."