November 24, 2007
So now we find out that there has been a surge in applications for citizenship — a fairly predictable consequence of an impending fee increase. The backlog stands at about 1.4 million and the wait has jumped from 7 months to an estimated 16-18 months. Those eligible for citizenship rush to get their applications in before the deadline and the the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service is unable to cope. They say they hired 1500 new employees to deal with the deluge of applications but the backlog mushrooms out of control nonetheless.
Of course, once one remembers that Citizenship and Immigration is part of the Homeland Security department the pattern becomes clear — this is just another branch of the folks who have brought us color-coded security alerts and the dreadful mismanagement of the Katrina disaster. More bumbling in yet another part of Homeland (In)Security — or so it would seem on the surface.
But wait a minute — is there a more sinister pattern here? If these 1.4 million applicants have to wait 16-18 months to become citizens then they will probably not be able to vote in the 2008 presidential election. This could have a significant impact on elections in several states with high concentrations of applicants such as Florida. Read the rest of this entry »