Immigrants in Massachusetts and nationwide could wait 16 to 18 months - more than double the usual period - to become US citizens because of a massive backlog, leaving thousands possibly unable to vote in November.
The backlog is the result of millions of applications for citizenship, green cards, and work permits that swamped immigration offices last summer before hefty fee increases went into effect July 30.
Federal immigration officials across the nation are hiring hundreds of staff members, paying overtime, and streamlining bureaucracy to process the applications more quickly. In Boston, officials will add more officers and in March will add an extra day, Saturday, to help break up the backlog in citizenship interviews.
Officials in Massachusetts had hoped the delays would be shorter. But after opening hundreds of applications that came in before the fee increases, a process they finished just recently, they realized the wait could be as long as 18 months, which is also the national average. Before the fee change, the wait here was four to five months, and about six months nationally. - Boston Globe
Ha, get it? Mass immigration.