Saturday, April 12, 2008

Prospective Citizens Beware!

Julia Preston of the N.Y. Times has a story on a problem that few, except some immigration attorneys, are aware -- the growing group of legal immigrants who seek to naturalize and become citizens only to end up in deportation proceedings because they violated highly technical immigration statutes.  Preston tells the story of a family, headed by a doctor, who came from the Philippines 25 years ago, south to naturalize, and face removal because of a technical problem.

As the story reports:

"Largely overlooked in the charged debate over illegal immigration, many of these are long-term legal immigrants in the United States who were confident of success when they applied for naturalization, and would have continued to live here legally had they not sought to become citizens. As applications for naturalization have surged, overburdened federal examiners, under pressure to make quick decisions and also weed out any security risks, prefer to err on the side of rejection, immigration lawyers and independent researchers said. In 2007, 89,683 applications for naturalization were denied, about 12 percent of those presented. In the last 12 years, denial rates have been consistently higher than at any time since the 1920s." (emphasis added).


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The real lesson here is for resident aliens to avoid getting arrested for beating their spouses or girl friends. Is that really too much to ask of a prospective citizen? After all, there are millions of other people who don't do so and are awaiting acceptance letters from the our immigration authorities. We can afford to be very selective. After all, how else may the professors continue to say that immigrants are better citizens those born here?

Posted by: Horace | Apr 12, 2008 6:28:08 PM

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