FBI is still Clearing Utah Muslims for Citizenship

November 13, 2006

Author: Deborah Bulkeley

Source: Deseret Morning News


If Abdullah Hassan were a U.S. citizen, he says he'd have likely voted for the GOP in Tuesday's election.

"I like Republicans because they removed Saddam from power," said Hassan, a Kurdish asylee from Iraq.

However, more than a year after he's met all the requirements for citizenship, Hassan is still waiting to be naturalized.

Hassan completed his citizenship interview Aug. 12, 2005, and that's normally the last step before naturalization. However, Hassan's name apparently hasn't been cleared from an FBI name list, which is part of the background check for citizenship applicants.

A person may be singled out if his name has surfaced in an investigation, either as a target of the investigation, associate or witness, FBI spokesman Paul Bresson said. Fewer than 1 percent of the names submitted take longer to clear than the normal six-month processing time between a citizenship application and interview, said Sharon Rummery, spokeswoman for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.