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Secret Program Prevents Muslims from Gaining US Citizenship

A secret program of the US government that prevents Muslims from obtaining US citizenship, was discovered by the ACLU. Applications for citizenship filed by Muslims are put on hold for several years by a national security program known as Controlled Application Review and Resolution Program [CARRP]. The aim of CAARP is to prevent people who pose a national security threat, from obtaining US citizenship. By making use of the information that the law enforcement officials provide, CAARP determines whether an individual is a national security concern or not.

The US government excludes applications filed by people from Middle Eastern, Arab, and other Muslim communities. Such applications are being denied or delayed. Under the US immigration law, USCIS must decide on naturalization applications within 6 months. But the USCIS puts applications filed by Muslims on hold and makes applicants wait for several years.

Margaret Stock, an immigration attorney from Alaska, stated that the applications filed by people who belong to the Middle Eastern and other Muslim communities, that goes into a black hole, will not be processed until they hire lawyers to sue the government. The ACLU lawyer, Jennie Pasquarella, who came up with the report stated that the US government is operating this program without the knowledge of the public and the applicants.

However, there are several who support CAARP. They say that such programs are necessary to prevent attacks like the Boston Marathon attack. But CAARP does not prevent terrorists from getting into the United States and does not make them leave the country. This program permits the Green Card holders to stay in the country but denies their US citizenship applications. People who are against CAARP say that this program may not prevent another attack.

ACLU’s report states that the USCIS officers are being instructed to find ways to deny naturalization applications filed by people who have been deemed to be a threat to national security. It is still unclear how many Muslims have so far been screened under this program.

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