It is not wrong for the government of the United States of America to introduce such measures as name check after one of the most dangerous attacks they had in September 11 2001. Since then, the new way of checking of the individuals’ background has been in play. The check is called “name check” as we have mentioned above. This involves searching the FBI records to track the criminal records of an individual. The FBI then hands over their findings to the records to the USCIS who will approve or disapprove the applicants’ request to be a citizen through naturalization. This has always caused a delay in the whole process and has raised complaints from people who have concern. This has put many immigrants that meet the requirements for becoming citizens in U.S. in a limbo. This has gone on for several months and even to years. This is all due to the slow process.
The government in itself has violated the law amendment on the procedure of naturalization. This act was the Fifth Amendment, with an aim of bringing the waiting period to a maximum of 120 days. “Federal law provides the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) up to 120 days to accept or reject a particular applicant’s request for US citizenship after the applicant has provided the required documentation, been fingerprinted and interviewed”(Iftikhar, par 5). The delays of the system come from the reason that the government changed the name checking procedure to reach to those people who have not even had criminal record (Mandamus, par 7). This are people who have at one time come in touch the FBI for any other reason such as, being a witness, being a victim and if one has applied for clearance of security. So many people have suffered from this kind of delay.
In such a case, we all need to be careful as we look at the issue. Such attacks like the September 11should not reoccur again. We all called on the government to put up measures that will be able to prevent such atrocities. If it came up with such a measure like the current name check, we should move very carefully as we make it clear to them that innocent people are suffering from the act, or the policy. We always need to reach a balance. To make sure that the nation is fully protected and that the people who have met the qualification to become U.S. citizens should always get their citizenship as soon as possible.
Basing the response of the ACLU and other organizations that champion the rights of the civilian population, we should think of a balancing point. “In response to widespread citizenship delays, the ACLU and other civil rights organizations have filed proposed class action lawsuits seeking to hold the government accountable for its failure to process naturalization applications in a timely fashion and according to the immigration agency’s own regulations and federal statutes” (Naturalization delays, par 2). This is very ok as we look at the thousands of people that are suffering delays. In juxtaposing this with thousands of deaths and injuries caused by not fully protecting the nation, it wil be very clear that at this point we urge the people who are on the waiting queue to be patient (Yassin, 15). If this violets the Administrative Procedure Act, as it is stated, “The lawsuits have argued that these unreasonable delays violate the Administrative Procedure Act and Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment” (Naturalization delays, par 2). Then we should think together with the government on an alternative way of making sure that, the right people become the American citizens.
Not all effort should go into fighting the government but into drafting a policy that will benefit the nation. It should benefit a government that is out to fulfill the people’s desires. We should all do this through the structures that already are in place, seeking for a perfect system. Iftikhar (2007) rightly states that, “Because of thousands of people who are affected by this immense backlog, there should be research requiring USCIS to implement a system that more adequately tracks cases and prioritizes those that have gone beyond the statutory 120 day limit” (Iftikhar, par 6). As we have said, we use the structures that are already in place, the congress is one good example. It is very influential and upon right judgment, it will create a policy that will not only cut the number of delays, but also make sure that the nation is secure.
We emphasize action that is two directional. That will provide the people with a fast service of naturalization and one that will ensure that we are secure as the nation of America. In this, we should consider the loss that we are creating in terms of time wasted by potential citizens in the whole process. They would have been given the right to becoming American citizens and save that time for economical growth contributions from such citizens. In addition, when the Attorneys should spend time defending the FBI instead of handling criminal issues is not wise. “This has forced several mandamus federal lawsuits to be filed in order to compel the government to expedite the applications of those individuals who have waited longer than the 120 day statutory period” (Iftikhar, par 7). This is what is causing a lot of wastage. The wastage is in terms of taxpayer’s money and the opportunity to handle pertinent issues. The attorneys are the ones whose time for handling important cases, goes to waste.
Such suggestions forwarded to the congress should consider the concerns of the people that are not involved in any criminal cases. If some are, some long background scrutiny has no need. Therefore, we may also say that the mistakes committed by others should not put all people to jeopardy. Therefore, if it is a national security concern, a more selective program is appropriate, rather than putting all people into task. This ends up wasting a lot of time for innocent people. Checks that take more than 120 days are risky. It gives time for the criminals to recognize themselves in a more technical way. It is therefore good to have the check done fast and accurately. This will limit the time for any criminal group to devise means to defeeat the government’s intelligence. The other thing is that people applying for citizenship have stayed in the country for the last five years. Within this time, the local government of the place in which this person resided must have monitored him. In this case, people are then supposed to be more creative as they think of a way out.
The government can as well improve on the parts that have the capacity to improve. If the FBI points out that limited resources are the ones that make them underperform. They are supposed to be adequately staffed, for them to get enough labor. This is in the name check department. They will also require enough funding in to help them speed up the process process. Apart from paying the staff members, the money will also help in acquiring equipment that will create speed in the process of name check.
The system too should be able to track check records. This will enable them serve the people waiting for results faster. They should involve technological ways of record keeping that are user friendly and that people can use them with ease. This will further reduce time for future name checks and save the applicants time. The government should implement such strategies to save time and avoid backlogs such as those of the year 2004. “…advocates estimated that at least 100,000 of the 678,000 immigrants with pending citizenship applications nationwide have been waiting longer than the Bush administration’s six month goal” (Iftikhar, par 11).
If all things are wisely considered, the government has not been able to fulfill their part. The people who are applying to be American citizens have done all they can and are required lawfully. It is now up to the government to step up and do its part. Though we are all needed to contribute, the government is the one, which is the policy maker and need to save people from the hectic waiting time. In order to make the immigrants remain patriotic to the nation, the government should not let them be in legal limbo for a very long time. This also makes them doubt the values of democracy that we have strongly established in America. This leaves them with no option but to sue the government’s wing that is responsible for the applications. This will portray very poor management on the part of the government. It has given the government a bad image that we all wish it should not be there. It leads to expenses that we should not have incurred, for both the government and those who are applying for citizenship. In overall, it is expensive for both teams.
It is therefore good that both parties, these are the citizens, through the civil rights groups and the government should work hard to come up with efficient ways for Immigration and naturalization. In doing this, they should also make sure that they do not compromise on the security of the nation. This is then clear that we should not allow delays on immigration and naturalization. Neither should we allow compromise on the national security. This therefore calls on all people in play to draw perfect and efficient policies on this very matter.