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Old 03-07-2008, 11:55 AM   #1
JOEBOOWORK
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FYI: Latinos Seek Citizenship in Time for Voting




March 7, 2008
Latinos Seek Citizenship in Time for Voting

By JULIA PRESTON
A lawsuit filed Thursday in a federal court in New York by Latino immigrants seeks to force immigration authorities to complete hundreds of thousands of stalled naturalization petitions in time for the new citizens to vote in November.
The class-action suit was brought by the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund on behalf of legal Hispanic immigrants in the New York City area who are eager to vote and have been waiting for years for the federal Citizenship and Immigration Services agency to finish their applications. The suit demands that the agency meet a nationwide deadline of Sept. 22 to complete any naturalization petitions filed by March 26.
Latino groups hope to summon the clout of the federal courts to compel the Bush administration to reduce a backlog of citizenship applications that swelled last year. According to the Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan research group in Washington, more than one million citizenship petitions were backed up in the pipeline by the end of December, the majority from Latino immigrants.
Despite protests over the delays from lawmakers, Latino groups and immigrant advocates, the immigration agency is currently projecting wait times of 16 months to 18 months to process the petitions.
“The reality is that large numbers of Latinos will not be able to vote in the elections because of these delays,” said Cesar A. Perales, president of the defense fund. “Now the world will know that the Latino community expects the Bush administration to get this done on time.”
Christopher S. Bentley, a spokesman for Citizenship and Immigration Services, said he could not comment on pending litigation.
“Our commitment is to work through the naturalization applications as quickly as we can without compromising the security and integrity of the process,” Mr. Bentley said.
The lawsuit, filed in the Southern District of New York, asserts that the agency violated immigrants’ due process rights by routinely failing to finish their applications within a 180-day time period that Congress has set as a standard. It also asserts that the Bush administration did not follow regulatory procedures in November 2002 when it ordered the Federal Bureau of Investigation to deepen its background checks of citizenship applicants.
Foster Maer, a lawyer for the defense fund, said it would soon file motions asking the court to order the agency immediately to meet the September deadline, which is intended to leave new citizens time to register to vote.
Manuel Martinez, 35, a legal immigrant from Mexico who is a plaintiff in the suit, filed his petition in January 2006. It has been delayed because the F.B.I. has not completed the required background check, he said. He said he suspected the problem was that he has a common Hispanic name.
“I want to be a citizen yesterday, not tomorrow,” said Mr. Martinez, who has lived in the United States since 1990. “I am really worried about the economy, and the deficit is too much. I need to vote.”
A fee increase, raising naturalization costs 80 percent to $595, went into effect on July 30. Legal immigrants were also spurred to seek citizenship by worries about the divisive debate over immigration and by citizenship campaigns by Latino groups.
“It is astonishing the government should be so unresponsive to immigrants who have enthusiastically taken all the steps to become Americans,” said Janet Murguía, president of the National Council of La Raza, a Latino group that supported the suit.
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Old 03-07-2008, 12:20 PM   #2
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Re: FYI: Latinos Seek Citizenship in Time for Voting

well to be honest our system is pretty "F"ed up right now.

I have a friend whom is from the Suddan. He's been here 10 years now and he's still getting the run around on citizenship aswell. You are supposed to beable to get your citizenship after 7 years.

I know for a fact he has been waiting at least 2 years if not 3. So I can understand these guys wanting to take it to the courts. Can't really blame them if they have been here long enough and have done what needs to be done.
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Old 03-07-2008, 12:53 PM   #3
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Re: FYI: Latinos Seek Citizenship in Time for Voting

Thats operating on the assumption that they got here legally.

My 'stepmother' *shiver* is from the U.K. came over on a work visa to do medical research as a chemist....she married an American, had a son by an American, and it still took 3.5 years, two lawyers, about 5k in legal fees, and 18 months of classes before she was granted her citizenship. My little brother, ironically gained dual citizenship (U.S. & U.K.) at birth, as the descendant of a Brit.
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Old 03-07-2008, 01:06 PM   #4
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Re: FYI: Latinos Seek Citizenship in Time for Voting

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Originally Posted by JOEBOOWORK View Post
Thats operating on the assumption that they got here legally.
If we are talking about the legal process of becoming a citizen, then what other assumption can you make?

No other assumption makes sense.

and while there are all sorts of arguments to be made against illegal immigration, it seems to me that only fringe elements want to shut down all immigration.
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Same here, maybe if I pet my grandparents I would've felt more of a bond

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Old 03-07-2008, 01:30 PM   #5
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Re: FYI: Latinos Seek Citizenship in Time for Voting

Thats precisely the problem with the public perception of this issue. These folks are petitioning the legal immigration process, as ILLEGAL immigrants.
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Old 03-07-2008, 02:48 PM   #6
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Re: FYI: Latinos Seek Citizenship in Time for Voting

I didn't see anywhere where it said they were illeagals..

I saw this..

“I want to be a citizen yesterday, not tomorrow,” said Mr. Martinez, who has lived in the United States since 1990. “I am really worried about the economy, and the deficit is too much. I need to vote.”
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Old 03-07-2008, 03:16 PM   #7
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Re: FYI: Latinos Seek Citizenship in Time for Voting

I'm talking about the 12-20 million people that are being lumped in with Mr. Martinez merely because they share an element of heritage.

You may think it only anecdotal of me to link the two, so I would ask you, were Mr. Martinez (presumably a legal resident alien...but we don't know, the article doesn't say), granted access to citizenship he apparently does not currently have, upon what criteria would his citizenship be granted, time in the country?

Furthermore, once that criterion is determined, would one be able to apply that to Illegal Immigrants, purely on the basis that they share resident (albiet illegal), alien status with Mr. Martinez?
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Old 03-07-2008, 05:14 PM   #8
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Re: FYI: Latinos Seek Citizenship in Time for Voting

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Originally Posted by JOEBOOWORK View Post
I'm talking about the 12-20 million people that are being lumped in with Mr. Martinez merely because they share an element of heritage.

You may think it only anecdotal of me to link the two, so I would ask you, were Mr. Martinez (presumably a legal resident alien...but we don't know, the article doesn't say), granted access to citizenship he apparently does not currently have, upon what criteria would his citizenship be granted, time in the country?

Furthermore, once that criterion is determined, would one be able to apply that to Illegal Immigrants, purely on the basis that they share resident (albiet illegal), alien status with Mr. Martinez?

There are lots of things they have to do to become a citizen, being here the allotted amount of time is one of them. If he's done them then he should be able to become a citizen assuming he's not a criminal.

You sit there in your post above and say it's ok that your stepmother was able to become a citizen in 3.5 years. Yet you think there is something wrong with this guy whom has been here since 1990, just because he's from south of the boarder.

That's kinda racist to lump every illegal and legal immigrant in one group just because they come from South/Central America.

To be honest if you get right down to it, Mexicans and all the others from down south have more of a right to be able to immigrate into this country than anyone from Europe.

After all their ancestry can be traced back right with the American Indians as being native to this continent prior to Europeans showing up. Not that I think they should be just open up the gates and let them all in. However if you think about it, their ancestors where here before ours were.
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Old 03-07-2008, 06:19 PM   #9
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Dave,

I'm not a rasict, its not the first time I've been called one...so I'm getting kind of calloused too it...THIS..however, is racist....textbook in fact

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To be honest if you get right down to it, Mexicans and all the others from down south have more of a right to be able to immigrate into this country than anyone from Europe.
Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1) - Cite This Source - Share This rac·ism /ˈreɪsɪzəm/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[rey-siz-uhm] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation –noun 1.a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one's own race is superior and has the right to rule others. 2.a policy, system of government, etc., based upon or fostering such a doctrine; discrimination. 3.hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.

I tried to be very matter of fact, and present the paradox resultant from the outcome desired by those in that story. I was approaching the issue using Mr. Martinez as a 'control' in this experiment, as it is implied that he is simply a product of a logjam within a bureaucracy.

The points that you completely MISSED, are as follows.

1. My 'stepmother' did it legally, at great expense, and inconvenience to her time, and her pocket book. You apparently think...she just should have gotten here in 1990 and waited it out...and or have been Mexican to reclaim her 'right/s'

2. The problem here is that legally, there is no mechanism that can effectively, and efficiently differentiate between the Mr. Martinez's, and the 12-20 million Illegal's, thus if Mr. Martinez, as our control is pushed to the front of the line...how then, without being discriminatory, could the very same people restrict access to the 12-20 million others?

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go rip the European gene's out of my DNA and send them back to whence they came, so that all that is left is my Lakota Souix blood...thus I'll have more of a RIGHT to be here than Mr. Martinez, 12-20 million other assholes, or even YOU.

...And another thing...CITIZENSHIP...in this country is a PRIVILEGE...not a RIGHT, perhaps you should spend some time pondering that.

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Old 03-07-2008, 10:48 PM   #10
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Re: FYI: Latinos Seek Citizenship in Time for Voting

I aint trying to get into a pissing match on this one, but I guess I kinda differentiated the "Mr Martinez" of this country from the 12-20 million illegals currently here based on the fact that he is registered and in the system, and I would assume (however incorrectly it may be to do so) that the other "Mr Martinez's" seeking to have the bueraucratic soup thinned out enough to actually start flowing so that after they satisfy all the legal requirements of citizenship, can actually have that privilege ordained upon them.

If they have actually satisfied all of the legal requirements, then they should be awarded citizenship.

I for one am sick and tired of the red tape and bueraucratic quagmire that infest all levels of government to the point of absolute ineffectiveness, serving as a means of controlling the dissemination of funds and entitlements. Although a bit counterintuitive, I truly believe that if we removed the majority of the oversight, as well as the redtape surrounding such agencies as INS, Veteran's Administration, the FAA, FEMA, et al, that there would be much less opportunity for corruption at all levels, more responsive service, and less waste.

On another level, it is impossible to be "racist" by being prejudiced against hispanics. and by that I mean, they are a member of the caucasion race. You are however entitled to be as bigotted as your little hearts desire!

There are three races of humans in the world: Caucazoid, Mongoloid, and Negroid. All the other categorizations are ethnicities.
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