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Congresswoman Clarke Introduces Immigration Backlog Reduction Bill

  This bill will dramatically reduce delays for individuals applying for naturalization, permanent residence, or asylum.  Unfortunately, in the current process, many immigrants that adhere to the regulations are adversely affected by the backlogs within the system.  These delays and backlogs push many honest immigrants into a status of legal limbo where they may be required to stop working and traveling.  Some may not even know whether they can remain in the country legally.


“Introducing legislation that addresses the backlog that countless honest immigrants face is just the right thing to do,” stated Rep. Yvette D. Clarke.  “As our nation grapples with immigration reform, it is imperative that we develop an infrastructure that is effective and efficient.   This legislation is an important step in that direction.  This bureaucratic backlog currently holds law abiding immigrants in a state of uncertainty and compounds the challenges we face with undocumented immigrants.  In every corner of our nation there are legal immigrants that are suffering the consequences of an inefficient and antiquated process that is placing their lives and their livelihoods in jeopardy each and every day.”


The Citizenship and Immigration Backlog Reduction Act is a bipartisan bill that addresses this problem by requiring the FBI to develop a plan to address its bureaucratic backlog of USCIS name checks for applicants within 18 months.  This plan must demonstrate how the FBI and USCIS will improve efficiency and maintain the privacy of the applicants while preserving high security standards.  After enactment of this bill, any individual whose application has been waiting for the name check for over six months and is currently legally residing in the United States must have any application for interim work and travel permits adjudicated, unless the Secretary of Homeland Security determines they pose a security risk or have broken immigration law.  In addition, the name check fees will be refunded.


Congresswoman Clarke represents New York’s 11th Congressional District located in central Brooklyn and is a member of the House Homeland Security Committee.


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