NPNA Report Shows Spike in Citizenship Applications, Increase in Backlogs

A new report by the National Partnership for New Americans, Building a Second Wall: USCIS Backlogs Preventing Immigrants from Becoming US Citizens details the continued growth in citizenship applications and increase in U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) processing backlogs.

Key Findings

– In the time since the 2016 presidential primary elections and now through the Trump Administration’s first year in office – 1,028,647 lawful permanent residents have applied to become U.S. citizens, a 10.5% increase over the same period last year

– Currently there are 708,638 pending applications, an increase of 35.23% in the backlog of pending applications over last year and a 77% increase in the last two years

The release of these national findings comes on the heels of a recent New York Times exclusive.

Despite the nationwide coordinated nonpartisan efforts led by the Naturalize NOW Campaign and its broad range of stakeholders and coalition partners, the report exclaims that such massive backlogs are contributing to the formation of an added barrier and institutionalization of a ‘Second Wall’, that will undoubtedly delay families from permanently protecting their loved ones.  But even more critical still is how this Administration’s perceived ‘slow-walking’ of these citizenship applications will delay long timeimmigrants, from their much anticipated entry to the ballot box.

The report offers direct policy recommendations that include urging USCIS to consider prioritizing resources to quickly process naturalization applications and bring the wait timedown to six months. The report calls on Congress to investigate why these delays are occurring and recommends providing USCIS with a special funding allocation to address their application backlog challenges.