The Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, has filed a lawsuit on behalf of legal Latino immigrants, in order to speed up naturalization. The suit charges the Bush Administration with failing to grant citizenship and the right to vote to those entitled to it. They argue that applications must be completed within the 180-day standard set by Congress. They also argue that the Bush Administration did not follow regulations when it ordered the FBI to intensify background checks.
The delay means that a large group of Latinos, eager to weigh in on urgent issues like immigration and the economy, will not be able to vote. To see what immigrants have to say about the issue, read more.
The New York Times reported on the story today and quoted a legal Mexican immigrant, and resident of the US since 1990:
I want to be a citizen yesterday, not tomorrow. I am really worried about the economy, and the deficit is too much. I need to vote.
It seems to me that there should be a consistent and predictable process for becoming a US citizen. Do you think the delays amount to disenfranchisement of individuals who would be American citizens, if not for unfair bureaucratic delays? Or, is the extra time necessary to make sure only the appropriate people become US citizens?