The journey to citizenship is not an easy one.
It takes many years of being a permanent resident before even starting the long process of applying for naturalization.
But there are many benefits for immigrants who become citizens.
The most well-known benefit is voting in elections.
But now, as the presidential elections take place later this year, it’s possible that almost half a million immigrants who are in the process for citizenship now won’t be able to participate.
In order to become a U.S. Citizen, applicants must attend an oath ceremony and take the oath of allegiance.
When USCIS closed their public-facing side in March, all oath ceremonies were postponed until further notice.
At the time, 126,000 immigrants had been approved for naturalization and were waiting to be scheduled for an oath ceremony.
Now, they are in limbo.
Waiting to hear any word on when they will be able to become a citizen.
There are other’s waiting, too. People who are in the citizenship process and are waiting on an interview are stuck in the naturalization funnel too.
It’s estimated that for every day USCIS is publicly closed, 2,100 would-be citizens run out of time to vote in Novembers elections.
If USCIS refuses to conduct to oath ceremonies and interviews through the Fall, there could be 441,000 people
excluded from the election.
441,000 people that would have otherwise been able to vote.
It makes sense that they stopped these ceremonies for public health reasons, but they have refused to adapt in ways that other branches of immigration has done.
Immigration courts are being done virtually.
USCIS could be doing video interviews and remote oath ceremonies.
We have the technology for it.
But they refuse to do so.
Maybe they’re refusing to cooperate because they don’t want an extra 441,000 votes this election.
After all, it’s very likely that a majority of these votes would be against Donald Trump.
And they may be the deciding factor in whether or not President Trump stays in office.
So maybe they aren’t holding oath ceremonies on purpose.
Maybe it’s just another part of Trump’s sneaky plan to force the odds of the election in his favor.
Or maybe USCIS just can’t get their act together.
What do you think?