Wednesday, January 2, 2008
We previously have reported about the backlog in naturalization petitions, with current delays of 16-18 months to process the paperwork for citizenship. A surge of petitions were filed when the federal government increased the fees for naturalization petitions in the summer of 2007. The processsing delay could affect the Presidential elections -- tens of thousands of petitions may not be processed before the 2008 elections. For analysis of this issue, click here.
My guess is that newly-naturalized citizens would be much less likely than other citizens to support the "get-tough-on-immigrants" approach embraced by the Republican candidates stumping for votes in Iowa.
UPDATE The N.Y. Times reported that, on January 11, federal officials announced that they had agreed on an emergency plan to hire back about 700 retired government employees in an effort to pare an immense backlog in applications for citizenship by legal immigrants.