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Authorities Asked to End Md/Va Muslim Citizenship Delays Cair-Md/Va:

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2007-07-08 10:39:57     
Council on American-Islamic Relations

The Maryland and Virginia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MD/VA) today called on U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to expedite the cases of local Muslims who have been waiting for up to seven years to take their citizenship oaths.

CAIR-MD/VA says the individuals experiencing the delays are legal residents who have fulfilled all requirements necessary to become American citizens. In some cases, the delays are causing personal hardships for those separated from family members or who are in careers that require citizenship for advancement. (Examples of individual cases of citizenship delays are available on request.)

Although the Immigration and Naturalization Act requires that the oath of citizenship be given no later than 120 days after completion of the naturalization process, the USCIS has delayed the oaths for many Muslims based on an unlegislated rule that requires rechecking applicant's files.

"Every citizen and permanent resident has a right to expect fundamental fairness in a process that determines important societal benefits such as citizenship," said CAIR-MD/VA Civil Rights Manager Morris Days. "The problem is that there has been no time frame for applicants to be given citizenship oaths, which results in their lives and futures being in limbo."

Days says there is a perception in the Muslim community that the citizenship delays are based on religion and national origin. He cited CAIR's 2006 annual report on the status of American Muslim civil rights that showed citizenship delays as the top concern.

Despite the delays, Days says he is confident immigration authorities will "ultimately do the right thing."

SEE: Citizenship Delays Were Top Issue for U.S. Muslims in 2006 -- Report http://www.cair.com/default.asp?Page=articleView&id=2781&theType=NR

CAIR-MD/VA recently helped resolve the case of a Muslim U.S. citizen in Virginia whose three-year-old child was denied entry to this country for two years.

SEE: Muslim Child Denied Entry to U.S. to be with Parents http://www.nbc4.com/news/13491623/detail.html

CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 33 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to promote justice, enhance the understanding of Islam, and empower American Muslims.

Specialized in: Cair - The Council On American-islamic Relations - Civil Rights - Media Activism - Political Empowerment - Action Alerts - American Muslim News Briefs - Cair In The News - Memberships - Chapters - Islam In America - Not Islam Petition - Outreach Efforts
URL: http://www.cair-net.org
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