Friday, March 7, 2008

Delayed Citizenship in Big Brotherland

I am becoming increasingly concerned, distressed and occasionally even distraught over the direction our country is heading--weaving and bobbing towards Big Brotherland where most all people are "presumed potentials" and treated accordingly--potential suspects, potential whack-jobs, potential criminals, potential terrorists, etc--and we are all under constant, perpetually retrievable surveillance (wholesale electronic eavesdropping, videocameras, GPS locators, data mining, data sharing, remote viewing, etc.)

We've allowed terrible changes to our fundamental concepts of national self-defense to occur--if we even suspect we will be harmed in the future by another nation, well then, according to this new concept because there is a "potential harm" we can now simply assert our suspicions of this potential as the central foundation for legitmizing the invasion and occupation of that country.

We are especially suspect of our "potential citizenss" and we fear them. They are highly suspect of being criminals, political subversives or terrorists--especially if English isn't that person's birth tongue. But some "potential citizens" are more suspect than others, even when they share certain cultural traits.

From Votelaw blog:

A lawsuit filed Thursday in a federal court in New York by Latino immigrants seeks to force immigration authorities to complete hundreds of thousands of stalled naturalization petitions in time for the new citizens to vote in November.

The class-action suit was brought by the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund on behalf of legal Hispanic immigrants in the New York City area who are eager to vote and have been waiting for years for the federal Citizenship and Immigration Services agency to finish their applications. The suit demands that the agency meet a nationwide deadline of Sept. 22 to complete any naturalization petitions filed by March 26.

Latino groups hope to summon the clout of the federal courts to compel the Bush administration to reduce a backlog of citizenship applications that swelled last year. According to the Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan research group in Washington, more than one million citizenship petitions were backed up in the pipeline by the end of December, the majority from Latino immigrants.

Despite protests over the delays from lawmakers, Latino groups and immigrant advocates, the immigration agency is currently projecting wait times of 16 months to 18 months to process the petitions. -- Latinos Seek Citizenship in Time for Voting - New York Times

It's simply not fair that an entire group of immigrants, based solely on their country of origin (read: Cuba) are afforded prompt handling of their citizenship applications, but most other people, even those that have been waiting for YEARS and YEARS and are demonstrably decent people, are being stonewalled.

When white middle class and upper middle class Americans started complaining about not being able to obtain passports so they could leave the US for vacations, well then, our government suddenly relaxed its regulatory procedures that had created a ridiculous application backlog and suddenly found the monies to hire more staff and speed up the process.

I hope the lawsuit is successful and that these deserving people are moved nearer to the front of the line.

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