Aug 27 2013
Many of you know Uprising host Sonali Kolhatkar is an immigrant to the United States. What you may not know is that she was granted citizenship in 2009, three years after finishing all the required steps, and only as a result of a lawsuit led by the ACLU and the National Immigration Law Center, which forced the US Immigration and Naturalization Service to grant her citizenship.
Sonali was a lead plaintiff in a class action lawsuit over indefinite delays of citizenship for immigrants who had followed all the requirements and passed all the tests, only to have their final swearing in ceremonies mysteriously delayed because of an FBI background check.
Even though the lawsuit against the then-Bush administration forced the government to grant thousands of people including Sonali, citizenship, the practice of delaying naturalization for no apparent reason continues. And, not surprisingly, it’s people who are Muslim or perceived to be Muslim whose applications are disproportionately delayed.
The ACLU has now, through Freedom of Information Act requests and other legal means, obtained government documents which show that the delays are due to a program called CARRP which stands for the Controlled Application Review and Resolution Program.
CARRP is a program that, at the discretion of the FBI, creates a class of people who are deemed too suspicious to be citizens, but not important enough to actually investigate.
GUEST: Jennie Pasquarella, staff attorney with the ACLU of Southern California, and author of the report “Muslims Need Not Apply”
Visit www.aclusocal.org for more information and to download the report.