Immigrants Wail and Moan: Won’t Be Able to Vote this Year

And, that is because the Chinese virus has slowed all government functions including those at the USCIS!

From Roll Call:

Citizenship delays may keep many immigrants from fall vote

Pandemic postpones naturalization interviews and ceremonies, adding to a backlog already worsened by budget woes

(I’m going to start my snips with these few paragraphs at the end of this story because it infuriated me!  If we have so much racial injustice and discrimination here, then just go home to India!)

Reeti Ghosh, an immigrant from India, started her naturalization process more than a year ago. She looked forward to finally voting, which she viewed as an opportunity to speak up about the racial injustice she witnessed in the country and even discriminatory behavior she felt locally, in her New Jersey community.

She was scheduled to take her civics test in April, but the pandemic canceled the appointment. Despite repeated attempts by her lawyer to reschedule, she has yet to hear back from USCIS with a new date.

“I really feel frustrated and honestly I can’t wait for this process to be done and over with,” she said. “It’s just the uncertainty. It is like a time bomb ticking. … You’re just really waiting for things to happen and just waiting there for no real reason.”

So boo-hoo, wait until the next election or go home and ‘fix’ India’s discrimination!

Now here is more of the story:

When Juliana Ximenes Coutinho Dias submitted her naturalization application last December, the possibility of finally becoming a U.S. citizen and getting to vote in the country she has called home for the past six years electrified the Brazil native.

But then the coronavirus pandemic hit. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which adjudicates immigration benefits and visas, shut down its field offices. It also postponed naturalization interviews and ceremonies, adding to a backlog worsened by budget woes and threatening to prevent hundreds of thousands of would-be citizens from registering in time to vote this November.

[….]

Hetlage [USCIS spokesman Dan Hetlage ]said the agency is on pace to naturalize approximately 600,000 new citizens by the end of the current fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30. But that’s nearly 30 percent lower than the previous year when 834,000 new citizens were sworn in, the highest number in 11 years, according to USCIS.

[….]

Naturalizations tend to spike in an election year and drop right after. Before the pandemic, the National Partnership of New Americans, a coalition of state, federal and local organizations that help new citizens register to vote, estimated that 860,000 people were scheduled to become U.S. citizens by the end of the year.

More than 23 million U.S. citizens who were born abroad could be part of the overall electorate this fall, according to a Pew Research Center analysis released earlier this year. That’s about 1 in 10 Americans, a record high.

In fact, the number of new citizens since the last election alone exceeds Trump’s margin of victory in Florida, Pennsylvania, Arizona and Michigan combined, and has made up substantial portions of the growth in each state’s eligible voters since 2016.

More here.

See that I have a tag for the National Partnership for New Americans.

One thought on “Immigrants Wail and Moan: Won’t Be Able to Vote this Year

  1. They should not be able to vote until they have been an American “CITIZEN” for ten years. Period. No matter how long they’ve been here before they became a citizen.

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