Seven Muslims Are Granted Citizenship After Years of Waiting

October 6, 2006

Author: H.G. Reza

Source: Los Angeles Times,1,5190346.story

Seven Muslims who have been waiting years to become U.S. citizens were notified Thursday that their applications had been approved, two months after they joined a lawsuit accusing immigration officials of illegally delaying background checks and allowing applications to linger indefinitely.

The settlement was announced by ACLU attorneys in Los Angeles who filed the suit on behalf of 10 Southern California Muslims. Attorney Ranjana Natarajan said the government did not explain the delays or why the applications were approved so quickly after the filing of the suit.

ADVERTISEMENT Marie Sebrechts, spokeswoman for the U.S. Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services, said only that the agency was also frustrated by the lengthy delays.

Three plaintiffs are still waiting for approval, Natarajan said. Under an agreement with the government, the seven who were approved should be able to be sworn in as citizens by Nov. 30. In turn, they agreed to drop their cases against the government.