Two more CAIR-Chicago clients were recently sworn in as United States citizens after enduring years of difficulties and delays. With the assistance of the Civil Rights department, they received a response from the government and obtained their citizenship.
U. S. law states that an applicant must receive a decision about his citizenship within 120 days of the interview.
The first man applied for the citizenship test in May 2006 and then did not hear back from the government for years until CAIR-Chicago stepped in to file a lawsuit on his behalf. He received the test in October 2009. About a month later, he was sworn in as an official U.S. Citizen.
More complications occurred with the second man who took the citizenship exam in October 2008. He also went to CAIR-Chicago for assistance in filing a lawsuit after dealing with an overdrawn holdup. After receiving an opportunity to take the oath in June 2009, he was then told, according to Civil Rights Director Christina Abraham, that he was not allowed to do so because “the case is still pending.” After he and CAIR-Chicago filed a second lawsuit, he also became a citizen.
CAIR-Chicago has handled over 200 citizenship cases in the pass 3 years alone. The reason for the delays, Abraham says, is that the name checking process that every applicant goes through is inefficient. “It should not take 3 years for an applicant to receive a response,” she said.
Abraham believes that there is still a lot of work to be done when it comes to citizenship cases. CAIR-Chicago receives complaints of delays on a regular basis.
“We will continue to work for those who are unreasonably delayed” she said.
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