Naturalization, enacted by the first Congress in 1790, has long been a cornerstone of U.S. democracy, freedom, and liberty, enabling new Americans to integrate and contribute socially and economically. While Congress has established naturalization standards through the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), current agency policies and practices are profoundly restricting the ability of eligible individuals to naturalize.
This report delves into the impact of recent policy and administrative changes that are narrowing the path to citizenship for new Americans:
1. Current backlogs in applications are delaying economic, civic, and social gains for individuals and communities.
2. New policies are creating additional burdens for low income applicants and unfairly targeting disabled applicants.
3. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services is closing doors to legal residents.