CAIR-Chicago Conducts Citizenship Delay Information Session at the Islamic Community Center of Des Plaines
December 20, 2005
CAIR-Chicago Executive Director Yaser Tabbara and Civil Rights Coordinator Christina Abraham conducted an information session on the Citizenship Delay Project that CAIR-Chicago and AAAN have been working on to address the issue of lengthy delays being experienced by many in the Muslim community.
The session began with an overview of the citizenship process and the administrative procedures that are involved in issuing national security clearance to citizenship applicants. The session then discussed the current Citizenship Delay Project and the work that has been done on the project since it began earlier this year. For an update on the Citizenship Delay Project, see Citizenship Delay Project Update.
Members of the audience were able to ask questions regarding the administrative and legal options available to them. Anyone waiting for citizenship status for over three months is advised to begin filing written inquiries and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Requests regarding the status of their citizenship applications. CAIR-Chicago can assist those individuals by writing inquiries and filing FOIAs on their behalf.
CAIR-Chicago also informed attendants of the session of their legal right to file a complaint in District Court if they have been waiting over 120 days after passing their citizenship interview and exam. Filing a complaint would not only ask a Judge to order USCIS to grant the applicant citizenship, but would also likely give USCIS incentive to expedite the applicant’s case.
Although the administrative remedies have proven only to inform the applicant that their citizenship status is pending a name check, having proof that the applicant has exhausted the administrative remedies available to them when they file a complaint in District Court is beneficial to the applicant’s case.