USCIS Grants U.S. Citizenship to Application Delayed Because of “Guilt by Association”

CLCMA is pleased to announce that our client was sworn in as a U.S. citizen in September 2020, just in time to participate in an historic federal election. Our client has studied, worked, and lived a law-abiding life in the U.S. for over a decade. Still, USCIS impermissibly delayed his citizenship application by placing it in the Controlled Application Review and Resolution Program (“CARRP”). USCIS created CARRP in 2008 supposedly to identify individuals who are seeking immigration benefits and who also pose a national security risk. Instead of being a source of protection, USCIS uses CARRP to discriminate against applicants based on religion, national origin, or associations, particularly those who are Muslim or from Muslim-majority countries. Under CARRP, USCIS delayed our client’s case and sought to disqualify him from gaining U.S. citizenship solely based on “guilt by association” with another Muslim student he knew during his university studies. CLCMA Director Charles Swift successfully assisted our client with the CARRP-related investigation while CLCMA’s Immigration Department took the necessary steps to attain approval of his citizenship application.

Our client anxiously endured many months of waiting, including COVID-19 related disruptions to the usual process, for USCIS to conduct his citizenship examination and to issue a decision. USCIS ultimately determined our client was fully qualified for U.S. citizenship and administered his oath of allegiance – a year and a half after his wife was naturalized. Once his naturalization case was resolved, our client expressed gratitude for CLCMA going the extra mile and supporting him in the entire process to achieve his goal of becoming a U.S. citizen.

“It is reckless for USCIS to arbitrarily subject immigrants to prolonged delay and to withhold U.S. citizenship merely because it disfavors an applicant’s religion, nationality, or ethnicity, as was the case for our client,” said Kathryn H. Brady, CLCMA Immigration Department Head. “Our client’s citizenship case is a classic example of the difference between a typical bureaucratic delay related to government inefficiency versus a delay that is intentionally discriminatory. CLCMA will continue to fight to eliminate government bias against the Muslim community, both in and out of federal court, because justice delayed is justice denied.”