More on the DHS citizenship application backlog

The Times editorial page continues their strong advocacy for a more sensible American immigration policy with an editorial today calling on our nation's leaders to fix one piece of the broken immigration system - the astonishing backlog of citizenship applications of legal immigrants. They write:

About the only point of agreement on immigration in this country is that newcomers who play by the rules — fill out their forms, pay their fees and wait their turn — are welcome. But that great American dogma is being sorely tested by the inability of the federal government’s feeble citizenship agency to deal with a flood of applications that arose this summer.

The agency, Citizenship and Immigration Services, is telling legal immigrants that applications for citizenship and for residence visas filed after June 1 will take about 16 to 18 months to process. The agency was utterly unprepared for the surge, and so tens of thousands of Americans-in-waiting will have to keep on waiting. Many, gallingly, may have to sit out next November’s election, even though that civic act was what prompted many of them to apply in the first place...

After the collapse of the Senate immigration bill earlier this year, there has been pressure on Congress to do something about our broken and unacceptable immigration system. A good place to start would be for Congress to add additional one time funds to the Department of Homeland Security to clear this backlog when it returns next week.

It will be interesting to see how the GOP Presidential field handles this question at their Univision Debate on December 9th. For more on this issue check out the Washington Post's detailed account.