By Amy Taxin, The Associated Press
October 28th, 2018
LOS ANGELES (AP) — More than 700,000 immigrants are waiting on applications to become U.S. citizens, a process that once typically took about six months but has stretched to more than two years in some places under the administration of President Donald Trump.
The long wait times have prompted some immigrant advocates to ask whether the delays are aimed at keeping anti-Trump voters from casting ballots in elections.
“People are motivated to participate, and they’re being frustrated from being able to participate in the elections they’re excited about,” said Manuel Pastor, director of the University of Southern California’s Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration.
The number of immigrants aspiring to become U.S. citizens surged during 2016, jumping 27 percent from a year earlier as Trump made cracking down on immigration a central theme of his presidential campaign. At first, the federal government kept up with the applications, but then the wait grew.