Problems Plague Immigration Agency

Critics call for overhaul of inefficient, backlogged operations
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted May 28, 2007 7:46 AM CDT
Left to right, Alfred Tecson from the Philippines, Ying Fang Kaplan from Taiwan, Anju Vajja from India and Srinivas, are sworn-in as new citizens of the United States, during a special naturalization...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The agency that will have to deal with the avalanche of paperwork generated by immigration reform can't handle it, the Washington Post reports today. With over a million citizenship applications already stalled in the pipeline, Citizenship and Immigration (the former INS) faces the possibility that its workload will nearly triple, and critics are calling on Congress to step in.

The agency never fully recovered from the demand created by the 1986 amnesty, 9/11 and the creation of the Homeland Security Department. It covers a large chunk of its budget with applicant fees, which are set to jump as soon as this week, but critics say the combination of expense and delays amounts to an invitation to circumvent the law.