U.S. citizenship applications are taking up to two years to process in some parts of the country under the Trump administration, prompting pushback from immigration rights advocates, according to a new Associated Press report.
The wait time for immigrants seeking to become U.S. citizens has typically been six months, but it has gotten longer under President TrumpDonald TrumpHillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — Twitter's algorithm boosts right-leaning content, internal study finds Ohio Democrat calls Vance an 'ass----' over Baldwin tweet Matt Taibbi says Trump's rhetoric caused public perception of US intelligence services to shift MORE, according to the AP.
The average wait time has reportedly extended to 10 months nationwide, with the process taking up to 22 months in Atlanta and up to 26 months in parts of Texas.
Some immigration activists are questioning whether the Trump administration is seeking to suppress the votes of would-be anti-Trump voters.
“People are motivated to participate, and they’re being frustrated from being able to participate in the elections they’re excited about,” Manuel Pastor, director of the University of Southern California’s Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration, told the AP.
A spokesman for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services told the AP that the longer wait times are a result of an uptick in citizenship applications. The number of applications increased by 8 percent between 2016 and 2017, the same time that wait times increased.Advocates in Los Angeles recently filed a lawsuit to obtain documents that would explain the delays.
Juliana Cabrales, a director of civic engagement at NALEO Educational Fund, a group that encourages Latinos to participate in politics,, told the AP that her organization will soon begin to help immigrants apply for citizenship.
“Right now, we’re finding ourselves in this space, in places like Miami and New York, where processing times are 21 months,” she said. “If you want to vote in 2020, you have to apply [to naturalize] now.”