Citizenship Applications Surge

The New York Times ran an interesting article recently titled: ” Citizenship Applications Surge as Immigration Talk Toughens.”

The article begins with the story of a 49 year old man who has had a green card for almost a decade talking about how he felt safe in the U.S with his green card.  He did not feel that becoming a U.S. Citizen was a priority.  In addition, the need to study for an oral civics test, the application fee and the time he would need to take off of work discouraged him.  He felt attached to the U.S.  However, he changed his mind after the new President took office.

“All this tough talk about immigrants got me thinking I still could be deported,” said Mr. Bernal, 49, a homeowner who is married and the father of two teenagers born in the United States. “You never know.”

“Last week, he was among 3,542 immigrants who raised their right hands to take the oath at a naturalization ceremony inside the Los Angeles Convention Center.”

Many feel that even having a green card is not enough to protect themselves in these current times.

Naturalization applications generally spike during presidential cycles and fall after an election. But this year, the volume of applications is on track to surpass that of 2016, as a perennial backlog continues to pile up. It is the first time in 20 years that applications have not slipped after a presidential election, according to analysis by the National Partnership for New Americans, an immigrant rights coalition of 37 groups. And with an unrelenting stream of hard-line rhetoric and enforcement in the news, as well as a swell of citizenship drives and advocacy, there are no signs the trend is abating.

About 8.8 million people are eligible to become American citizens, meaning they have been lawful permanent residents, or had a green card, for at least five years.

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.

With the surge of applications, the processing backlog has ballooned. There were 708,638 pending applications at the end of June, a steady rise from 522,565 at the end of the 2016 fiscal year and 291,833 in 2010. The average wait time has doubled, to 8.6 months from four months a few years ago, with applicants in cities like Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas and Miami waiting a year or longer.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, which processes the applications, said it was enlisting officers to work overtime and seeking to fill vacancies, noting “there is no quick fix” for the delays.””

The article goes on to explain that green cards ” can be revoked, and green card holders can be deported if they are convicted on charges such as aggravated felonies, drug trafficking and crimes of “moral turpitude,” which can be broadly defined. Each time a permanent resident leaves the United States, re-entry is at the discretion of an immigration official.

Citizenship protects immigrants from deportation if they commit a crime, and gives them access to federal benefits and jobs that are restricted to citizens.”

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  • S. Lucas
    TEMPORARY VISA
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    Our experience was amazing. The process was smooth. Larry and Jason helped us every step of the way to get my husband’s temporary visa. When I started getting anxiety about how long it takes, what’s the next step or what if’s, I would call either of them and they had no problems giving me answers. Jason went with us to our meeting with immigration, and made us laugh the whole time. He really helped keep me calm as I suffer from anxiety very badly. A year later, I can still call Larry and ask questions about the next step. I’m very thankful I found these guys!!! Highly recommend them!

  • L. Alvarado Jr.
    IMMIGRATION LAW
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    I met the love of my life in China. When I was looking for an Immigration attorney to help me get the K1 Visa for my fiance, I was so glad that I found the Law Office Of Lawrence Gruner. Attorney’s Lawrence Gruner and Jason Marachi gave us excellent representation throughout the whole process and got us through the process very quickly and smoothly. It only took six month’s for my fiance to get her K1 Visa and move to the U.S. with me so we could get married and start our lives together. And in another six month’s later, my wife now has her Green Card. I highly recommend this Law Office for your Immigration Law needs.
    Thank you Mr. Gruner and Mr. Marachi!!

  • M. Obregon
    IMMIGRATION LAW
    img

    Lawrence and his legal team are stellar. They provided an affordable solution to our immigration related legal issues. My wife and I turned to Lawrence and his team from friends that also had a successful experience. Simply, we all agree that it was the right choice. Everything was completed as offered and his legal advice as a lawyer and a friend is always there. Thank You!

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Hope for Undocumented Aliens Wanting To Obtain Their Green Cards

 In her excellent January 6, 2012 New York Times article “Tweak In Rule To Ease a Path to Green Card”, Julia Preston writes about an Obama administration proposal which could “encourage Americans to come forward to apply to bring illegal immigrant relatives into the system….”

Under the current law, certain undocumented aliens (those who entered the United States illegally not someone who entered legally and overstayed his visa) who has an American Citizen as a parent or spouse cannot obtain a green card unless the undocumented alien returns to his home country.
However, once the undocumented alien leaves the United States he will be automatically barred from returning to the United States for 3 to 10 years unless he obtains a waiver. (Check with an Immigration Attorney to see if you are subject to a 3 or 10 year bar. Attorney consultations are confidential and some Immigration Attorneys will not charge you for a consultation).
These waivers have, in many cases, been time consuming and very difficult to obtain. Many undocumented aliens have been unwilling to take this risk. (If you entered the United States illegally and have married a US citizen or have a US citizen parent do not file any paperwork with USCIS until you speak to an Immigration Attorney.)
However, under this proposal these undocumented aliens would be able to “obtain a provisional waiver in the United States, before they leave for their countries to pick up their visas. Having the waiver in hand will allow them to depart knowing that they will almost certainly be able to return, officials said. The agency is also seeking to sharply streamline the process to cut down the wait times for visas to a few weeks at most Obama administration officials announced on Friday that they will propose a fix to a notorious snag in immigration law that will spare hundreds of thousands of American citizens from prolonged separations from immigrant spouses and children.”
It is important to note that this is a proposal at this stage. “Agency officials, speaking on condition of anonymity on Thursday before the proposal was formally announced, stressed that this was only the beginning of a long regulatory process that they hoped to complete by issuing a new rule before the end of this year. “
Hopefully, by the end of the year this rule will be in effect. In the meantime, if you are here illegally speak to an Immigration Attorney about your Immigration options.
Lawrence Gruner is a Sacramento Immigration Attorney with almost 20 years of experience. His office handles cases throughout California, the United States and the World. You may reach our office at 916-760-7270 or toll free at 888-801-6558 . Attorney Gruner would be happy to review your situation and your options. This post is under Sacramento Immigration Lawyer
The information provided on this site is not legal advice but general information only. Laws do change and additional laws may apply in your case. Every case is different. Please contact our office or the office of another immigration attorney to review your matter prior to filing any documentation with USCIS

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  • S. Lucas
    TEMPORARY VISA
    img

    Our experience was amazing. The process was smooth. Larry and Jason helped us every step of the way to get my husband’s temporary visa. When I started getting anxiety about how long it takes, what’s the next step or what if’s, I would call either of them and they had no problems giving me answers. Jason went with us to our meeting with immigration, and made us laugh the whole time. He really helped keep me calm as I suffer from anxiety very badly. A year later, I can still call Larry and ask questions about the next step. I’m very thankful I found these guys!!! Highly recommend them!

  • L. Alvarado Jr.
    IMMIGRATION LAW
    img

    I met the love of my life in China. When I was looking for an Immigration attorney to help me get the K1 Visa for my fiance, I was so glad that I found the Law Office Of Lawrence Gruner. Attorney’s Lawrence Gruner and Jason Marachi gave us excellent representation throughout the whole process and got us through the process very quickly and smoothly. It only took six month’s for my fiance to get her K1 Visa and move to the U.S. with me so we could get married and start our lives together. And in another six month’s later, my wife now has her Green Card. I highly recommend this Law Office for your Immigration Law needs.
    Thank you Mr. Gruner and Mr. Marachi!!

  • M. Obregon
    IMMIGRATION LAW
    img

    Lawrence and his legal team are stellar. They provided an affordable solution to our immigration related legal issues. My wife and I turned to Lawrence and his team from friends that also had a successful experience. Simply, we all agree that it was the right choice. Everything was completed as offered and his legal advice as a lawyer and a friend is always there. Thank You!

SEE ADDITIONAL TESTIMONIALS

TELL US ABOUT YOUR CASE

REQUEST YOUR FREE, NO-OBLIGATION CONSULTATION WITH AN ATTORNEY

YOUR PRIVACY IS
IMPORTANT US