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USCIS Holds National Mall Naturalization Ceremony, While Many Wait for Years

ADC Press Release | Contact: Laila Al-Qatami | 202-244-2990 | media@adc.org.
Washington, DC | May 3, 2006 | While the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) holds a naturalization ceremony on the National Mall in Washington, DC, on Thursday, May 4, 2006, hundreds of applicants for naturalization still await their own oath ceremonies.
Last week, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) raised the issue of USCIS violating its own citizenship regulations in failing to process naturalizations within the mandated 120-day time frame. In some cases, these delays have lasted up to four years.
Under ADC’s coordination, immigration attorneys across the nation, filed writs of mandamus to compel the processing of their delayed petitions. ADC noted that those who had earlier filed these writs were granted their naturalizations immediately after the filing. However, the added writ-filing step that many naturalization petitioners now must take is creating significant delays and is not affordable for all petitioners.
Since launching the nationwide campaign to bring attention to this problem, cases continue to be reported to ADC, for more information see:
https://www.adc.org/index.php?id=2791 and https://www.adc.org/index.php?id=2794
Included below are several case examples.
-Less than 30 miles from tomorrow‘s naturalization ceremony, a man was recently pulled out of his naturalization ceremony, despite the fact that he was scheduled to be sworn in as a US citizen that day.
-A man in Washington State successfully had his naturalization interview five years ago, but is still waiting for his citizenship oath ceremony.
-In Minnesota, a man is waiting for his oath ceremony so he can take his disabled son to Jordan to meet his family. As a non-citizen, he cannot afford to ship the necessary medical equipment to Jordan, so that his son will be able to move around while there.
-In Michigan, a man has been waiting for his oath ceremony for over two years. He hopes that by becoming a US citizen, he will be able to secure a better job, enabling him to pay for the costly treatment of his daughter‘s heart condition.
-In Washington State, a man has been waiting for his oath ceremony for 16 months. While both he and his wife had their naturalization interviews on the same day, she was sworn in as a US citizen one year ago while he is still waiting.