Thursday, December 18, 2008

1,900 immigrants not naturalized in time - couldn't vote in election

"the Ombudsman received credible information that one court denied USCIS the opportunity to administer the oath in a timely fashion to more than 1,900 approved naturalization applicants. The court's delay adversely impacted the ability of these individuals to vote in the recent general elections.

"USCIS leadership and staff worked hard to naturalize these new citizens, and they had the assistance of many district courts that proved flexible in scheduling additional naturalization oath ceremonies," said CIS Ombudsman Michael Dougherty. "courts that choose to assert exclusive authority to naturalize new citizens should also embrace a customer service ethic that recognizes the singular importance of oath ceremonies."

see report:
Cisomb Naturalization Recommendation 2008-12-16

Some Judges Delay Swearing-In Of New Citizens, Report Says
Immigration Ombudsman Says Money Is Motivation

By Spencer S. Hsu
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, December 18, 2008; Page A23

Federal judges in some parts of the United States have delayed the swearing-in of new citizens, keeping millions of dollars in fees that would otherwise go to immigration officials if they were allowed to administer the oaths instead, according to a new government report and immigration officials.

In one of the nation's busiest courts, a judge's delay caused nearly 2,000 people to not receive the oath in time to register for November's general election, USCIS ombudsman Michael Dougherty said in a 13-page report released yesterday.

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