Monday, July 11, 2005


Is the Justice Department deliberately delaying the Citizenship Applications of Muslims?

The INS currently has a procedure for anyone who wants to be a U.S. citizen. If you have been a Lawful Permanent Resident for 5 years, or 3 years if married to a U.S. citizen, you are eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship. If you are approved you must then attend an Oath Ceremony where you swear allegiance to the U.S. and are given a Certificate of Naturalization.

Once you file for Citizenship you are required to demonstrate "an understanding of the English Language, including the ability to read, write, and speak words in ordinary usage in the English Language." You must also demonstrate "a knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of history, and of the principles and form of government of the United States." (for fun go to the INS website and print off sample questions and ask them of your U.S. citizen friends. You'll be appalled at the lack of knowledge.) After you pass your test INS is required to schedule you for your oath ceremony within 45 days.

Currently there are many people who filed for citizenship, paid their application fees, were fingerprinted, photographed and then passed their English language exam and their civics exam. But for some reason INS has never scheduled them for their oath ceremony. Many of them have been waiting years since passing their exams for INS approval. When INS is contacted about their cases they respond simply with "Security Checks Pending."

I know many of you feel safer that INS is doing security checks, but I have to ask... How safe are we if someone has a three year window before INS figures out they are a security risk? I currently have no idea how many people are denied because they are a security risk but my guess is the number is close to zero.

The other problem is that some people have their Oath Ceremony scheduled without delay while others have been pending for years and years. The common theme to those who have been waiting years and years? Muslims. Slightly over 90% by my count.

Can you say Religious Discrimination?

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