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Hidden DHS Program Delays Citizenship for Muslims: Report

Aug 30, 2013

"Millions of aspiring Americans apply to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) each year. But under a previously unknown national security program known as the “Controlled Application Review and Resolution Program” (CARRP), the government excludes many applicants from Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim and South Asian communities from these opportunities by delaying and denying their applications without legal authority. Learn more about CARRP and how it has harmed the naturalization process. Download the PDF version of the report here - ACLU, Aug. 2013

"Under criteria for identifying national-security concerns, a CARRP training manual dated April 2009 lists "travel through or residence in areas of known terrorist activity;" being a "close associate" to a subject of concern; and being a member or participant in organizations that engage in suspect activities, according to the FOIA documents. Once deemed a national-security concern, an individual's application is placed on a CARRP track for further scrutiny, rather than the normal review process; an application subjected to CARRP can't be approved unless the agency is satisfied there is no longer a security concern, according to the documents. In practice, that can lead to prolonged, even indefinite, delays, the ACLU said. "Your file goes into a black hole, and you're stuck unless you have the money to hire a lawyer to sue the government," said Margaret Stock, an immigration attorney in Alaska who taught national-security law at West Point and has reviewed the program. The agency issues denials, according to Ms. Pasquarella, based on "pretextual reasons," such as claims that applicants made inaccurate statements about their address, employment or educational credentials, to prove lack of the required good moral character. The USCIS wouldn't comment further on the program." - Miriam Jordan, Wall Street Journal, Aug. 21, 2013

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