Monday, March 1, 2004

Backlog at former INS aggravates immigrants

''The complaints we've heard about immigration processing have only gone up since the creation of USCIS,'' said David Lubell of the Tennessee Immigrant and Refuge Rights Coalition. Lubell was referring to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, the arm of Homeland Security that is devoted to immigrants seeking benefits such as citizenship or legal permanent residence."

"Lubell said the USCIS had inherited many of its problems from the former INS and has made them worse. The problems include longer waits for processing citizenship requests and plans to increase fees for services, Lubell said."

"The backlog in applications are 'good indicators right here that we're taking in more legal immigrants than we can possibly keep up with,' said Donna Locke of Tennesseans for Immigration Control and Reform."

"The number of applications waiting for approval by the USCIS have jumped about 60% in the past year, according to a report by the General Accounting Office released last month."

"There were 6.2 million applications for people wanting to become citizens, permanent residents, or seeking some other immigration status by the end of September, compared with 3.9 million two years earlier, according to the report."

The Tennessean

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