Immigration Meltdown vs War Meltdown and US Elections
Naturalization paperwork jam hits Texas hard
Backlog may keep some from casting votes for president
WASHINGTON — Millions of people who applied for naturalization and other immigration benefits to beat a midsummer fee increase are caught in a paperwork pileup that threatens the chance for some to become U.S. citizens in time to vote in next November’s presidential election.
The application backlog is so large that Citizenship and Immigration Services, a division of the Homeland Security Department, is months behind schedule in returning receipts for checks written to cover fees — an early step in the process.
The Texas Service Center is working on applications dating from July 26.
“Were we caught off guard by the volume? Let’s just say it was anticipated it would increase. It was not anticipated it would increase by that much,” said Emilio Gonzalez, director of Citizenship and Immigration Services.
The immigration agency would not say how many applications it has received. The American Immigration Lawyers Association, a private legal advocacy group, said it was told by agency officials that 3.5 million applications had come in over a two-month period. The agency projected a workload of 3.2 million applications for fiscal years 2008 and 2009.
Gonzalez ordered his staff to give priority to naturalizations, but some applicants will miss voting in primaries, which begin in January.
“I really want to target the elections,” Gonzalez said. “I really want to get as many people out there to vote as possible.”
The application crush was worsened by another flood of about 300,000 applications from skilled workers wanting to become legal residents. The agency initially said it wouldn’t accept the visa applications but changed its mind amid public outrage.
The agency also set up hot lines and is posting progress updates on its Web site. Files are being sent to Vermont and California for processing there. The agency has asked staff members to volunteer to help clear the delayed paperwork, just as the State Department did when confronted with a passport application backlog because of a change in law requiring Americans to show a passport when flying to and from Mexico, Canada and the Bahamas.
At least 110 immigration workers are being sent to Texas and Nebraska to help process applications, the agency said.
WASHINGTON — Regardless who wins the White House next year, the issue of how to fix America’s dysfunctional immigration system will be waiting like a ticking time bomb in the new president’s inbox.
The immigration issue is almost as emotional as the Middle East wars. There is blood letting on both issues. People are dying to get into the USA. People are dying to get out of the Middle East. Both issues cost too many Taxpayer dollars. Both issues are fraught with heartbreak. Both issues are a politician’s nightmare. Regardless who wins, somebody will loose votes. No single answer will solve either problem and inequity will be applied, no matter who wins.
The US economy is dependent on cheap labor, whether we accept it or not. There is a whole underground economy based on ‘un-reported cash income’. Both Americans and Illegals take advantage of this lifestyle. American crooks get rich off the backs of illegals. Scams and coercion fleece illegals so they have to work twice as hard to become legitimate citizens. Regardless of the hype everyone hears, the truth is that most working illegals pay more taxes than you do. They are at the mercy of scam tax preparers and hoodlums who coerce them into holding the bag for American con artists. They are too frightened to report awful things done to them. They don’t know who to trust. The majorities come here for a better life and to help their families back home … for that they sell themselves into a form of slavery that few Americans would tolerate. Americans have become intolerant and cynical watching these workers demean themselves for pennies on the dollar. Then there are the real criminals who take advantage of the easy flow of traffic between countries. Embedded among these desperate travelers they put everyone at risk. Foreign criminals traffic drugs, slaves and arms to their American Citizen counterparts. As long as there is a market, there will be providers. America is the biggest market of all! Immigration is a plate of spaghetti that will take a master to unravel. Americans must take a closer look. It is not just the weight on our humanitarian services that is suffering. It is our inability to distinguish one issue from another. America has lost its vision and is beholding to slick politicians to guide us through the quicksand we find ourselves in. Tax dollars should be spent on solutions, not fences. ARE WE OSTRICHES?