In the face of shrieks and screams from Democrats about President Trump’s actions vis-à-vis immigration and a backlog at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), one fact was revealed on Friday that somehow escaped the mainstream media: over the weekend USCIS released their 2018 financial year report, and lo and behold! The number of citizenship applications to the Department of Homeland Security actually reached a five-year high last year.
Not only that, that number came in the face of a 61% increase from 2017 to 2018 in affirmative asylum applications, as The Washington Times reported. The Washington Times continued, “… when the whole panoply of humanitarian programs is considered — asylum, refugees, crime victim visas, Temporary Protected Status and screening for credible fear or reasonable fear of persecution — the numbers were 32 percent higher than fiscal year 2017.”
In October 2017, The Washington Times reported, “Some 540,000 applications were filed in the first six months of this year, compared with 420,000 during the same period in 2013.
One example of a complaint against the Trump administration came in July 2018, when Joshua Hoyt, executive director of the National Partnership for New Americans, an immigrant advocacy group, told NBC News, “The Trump admin has built a second wall that prevents legal immigrants in the U.S. from becoming voting U.S. citizens. … They may be waiting for as much of 20 months after submitting a 21-page application, paid the $730 fee, submitted their fingerprints for a security check and then sat and waited to take an exam. … This is either absolute gross incompetence affecting close to a million legal immigrants who want to become U.S. citizens, or it is an intentional second wall that is designed to slow the pace at which lawfully present immigrants can become voters.”
Michael Bars, a spokesman for USCIS, reacted to Hoyt’s remarks:
The truth is that the total number of people the U.S. naturalizes each year has remained virtually unchanged. What we’re looking at is a dishonest and desperate attempt by open borders advocates to undermine the work of Homeland Security officials, law enforcement and the administration to protect the integrity of our immigration system and uphold the rule of law. The current pending workload does not equate to a backlog — it’s a statistic used in the USCIS report to include every application for naturalization filed including those filed in recent days and weeks — and is being inaccurately portrayed as evidence of delays.
Other complaints: in September 2018, an op-ed written by a Democratic congresswoman from Washington and a professor who directs the Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration at the University of Southern California accused:
Slow-walking citizenship applications is of a piece with other worrisome actions by the Trump administration affecting legal immigration. It has, for example, hired several dozen lawyers and agents to ramp up Operation Janus — an effort to prosecute and strip citizenship from about 1,600 individuals (out of the more than 21 million naturalized citizens) who may have misled authorities on their naturalization application.