Naturalization Applications Surge Under Trump
The New York Times reports that even though naturalization applications generally spike during presidential election years and then fall after the election, the volume of applications received by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for 2017 will be greater than during the 2016 election cycle:
“In the first three quarters of the 2017 fiscal year — from Oct. 1, 2016, through June 30, the latest period for which data is available — 783,330 people filed applications, compared with the 725,925 who filed during the same months a year earlier. The current figure is well on pace to surpass the 971,242 who applied in the 2016 fiscal year.”
The increase in applications has led to longer processing times, with an average wait time now approaching nine months. Anti-immigrant rhetoric and legislation seem to be spurring the increase in applications, with applicants wanting to further cement their permanent status in the United States (U.S. citizens cannot be deported—green card holders can if they are convicted of certain times or spend too much time outside of the United States.). Naturalized citizens can also vote, serve on juries, and have more ability to file immigration petitions for family members. If you would like to discuss potential applications for United States citizenship, contact our office to set up a consultation.
Read the New York Times article here.