IN THE UNTIED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SEVENTH by dontyouknowme

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									                      IN THE UNTIED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
                             FOR THE SEVENTH CIRCUIT

                                            No. 97-3364

SARRA SHVARTSMAN, et al.,              )
                                       )            Appeal frbm the United
               Plaintiffs-Appellants,  1            States District Court for
                                       1            the Northern District of
               vs.                     )            Illinois, Eastern Division
                                       1
JOHN J. CALLAHAN, Commissioner         )
of the Social Security Administration; 1             No. 97 C 5229
and DANIEL R GLICKMAN, Secretary )                   Judge Conlon
of the United States Department of     )
Agriculture,                           1
                                       )
               Defendants-Appellees.   1




John M. Bouman                                       Sue Augustus
Daniel J. Lesser                                     Thomas Yates
Margaret Stapleton                                   SSI Coalition for a Responsible Safety Net
Poverty Law Project                                  205 W. Monroe St., 3ti Floor
National Clearinghouse for Legal Services            Chicago, IL 60606
205 W. Monroe, 2nd Floor                             Tel. : (3 12) 460-8400
Chicago, IL 60606
Tel.: 312-263-3830                                   Gerald McIntyre
                                                     Herb Simmel
Linton Joaquin                                       National Senior Citizens Law Center
National Immigration Law Center                      2639 La Cienaga Blvd.
1102 S. Crenshaw Blvd.                               Los Angeles, CA 90034
Los Angeles, CA 90019                                Tel.: 3 10-204-6015
Tel.: 213-938-6452

Attorneys for Plaintiffs-Appellants
                  PLAINTIFFS-APPELLANTS SEPARATE APPENDIX

                     TABLE OF CONTENTS AND CERTIFICATION

Exhibit               Item

Exhibit A             Declaration of Marketa Lindt (11 pages).

Exhibit B             Declaration of Sarra Shvartsman (1 page).

Exhibit C             Declaration of Leonid Teper (1 page).

Exhibit D             Declaration of Leonidas Perez and Interpreter Declaration (2 pages).

Exhibit E             Declaration of Rosa Perez and Interpreter Declaration (2 pages).

Exhibit F             Declaration of Iakov Shmelevich (1 page).

Exhibit G             Declaration of Genya Shmelevich (1 page).

Exhibit H             Declaration of Nhol Lim (1 page).

Exhibit I             Declaration of Loeuk Roeun (1 page).

Exhibit J             Declaration of Grazyna Klincewicz and Interpreter Declaration (2 pages).

Exhibit K             Declaration of Procoro Simentes (1 page).



       I, John M. Bouman, one of the attorneys for Plaintiffs-Appellants, certify that this
Separate Appendix contains all of the materials required by Circuit Rule 30(b) and that the
Appendix bound with the Appellants’ Brief contains all of the materials required by Circuit Rule
30(a).
                                     _   .        -            I-.
                                             r.            ‘;;y CT)
                                                            ‘<;;   i’ ?
                                DECLARATION OF MARKETA LINDT ”      -.


            1, Marketa Lindt, declare as follows:

           A.       My Qualifications

    I I am an attorney practicing in Chicago, Illinois in the area of immigration law. I hold a Juris
l   Doctor and a Master’s Degree in International Atl‘airs.

    2. Since January 1997, I I have been working as an attorney with Kenneth Y. Geman &
    Associates. My practice consists entirely of immigration cases, with a specialty in citizenship
    cases.

    3. Before assuming my current position, I served for two and a half years as the Citizenship and
    Immigration Coordinator for the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Ref$,ee Protection
    (“ICIRP”). In that capacity, I was responsible for gaining a thorough understanding of and
    monitoring the naturalization process at the local and national level; providing technical assistance
l   in the areas of immigration and naturalization law and procedure for the more than 80
    organizational members of ICIRP; coordinatinf and staEng ICIRP’s 40 member Citizenship Task
    Force; directing ICIRP’s local and national advocacy ef’forts to increase the et‘ficiency of the
    naturalization process and making the process more responsive to the needs of citizenship
    applicants; providiq, training seminars about naturalization law and procedure tc hundreds of
    lawyers and service providers; and providin, legal assistance to hundreds of applicants for
                                                           (r
    naturalization at community citizenship application workshops. In my position, I wrote a number
    of publications, including an article, “The 1996 Immigration Act: Public Benefits Restrictions, The
     Elderly and Citizenship,” published in one of the leading immigration law publications, III/PI.IWL~~L~/.
    I~L~/c’~I.w.~ (January 13, 1997); an in-depth study of the naturalization process in the Chicago INS
0   Of’fice, NL’IV ( ‘ifi;e/r.v ( ‘Iliqqo S/&/U (ICIRP, 1995); a three-part series on citizenship for the
    educators’ journal ‘/‘I<&!‘()/, h~~tr//~‘r:s ( 1996); and numerous articles, editorials and interviews
    regarding citizenship and immigration in local and national media, including the Wdl ,V/rcsf
    .JOIII~IILI~, the ( ‘Ili~‘(~go 7hihmw, the (‘hictrgo ,%III-~>I~c~.v, and other mainstream and ethnic
     newspapers, television stations and radio stations.
l
    4 III this declaration, I explain the naturalization process in detail, including steps in that process
    where applications have been substantially dclaycd due to circumstances entirely beyond the
    COII~I-01 of applicants. The hasis for my declaration is my experience as described in Paragraphs I -
    3 above. My experience includes pcrsonnlly assisting at least 500 applicants for naturalization
    both in private practice and as a volunteer attorney at numerous citizenship workshops.

    I.      Overview of the Naturalization Process

    5 The application process for naturalization consists of three basic steps. The frrst is to submit
0   an application for naturalization with the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). The
    second step is to attend an INS interview, which generally consists of an English and civics test
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and a review of the applicant’s eligibility for citizenship. The third and final step is the oath of
allegiance at the naturalization ceremony.

         A.        The Application and Initial Application Processing

6. To begin the naturalization process, an applicant must tile the Form N-400, Application for
Naturalization, the $95 filing fee and supporting documention with the Immigration and
Naturalization Service (INS). In most cities, the applicant files the application in the local INS
District Offtce. Since February, 1996, in Chicago, New York, Miami and Los Angeles -- the
major urban areas with the largest immigrant populations -- applicants must mail the application
to one of the four INS Regional Service Centers. For the Chicago area, the Regional Service
Center is in Lincoln, Nebraska. In my experience, applicants generally receive a receipt from the
the Nebraska Service Center in one to three weeks.

7. In general, applicants for naturalization are eligible to submit an application for naturalization
after five years of lawful permanent residence.’ INS Regulations permit an applicant to submit an
application up to three months in advance of the date of eligibility.

8. In 1990, in a cooperative initiative with I8 community-based organizations, the Chicago INS
Oftice instituted a special prqject called the “Community Outreach Program.” The Communty
Outreach Program provided a more efficient and customer-friendly handling of naturalization
applications. Under the Community Outreach Program, designated organizations could assist the
applicants with completing the N-400 applications and then deliver batches of the applications to
the Chicago INS Oflice, instead of the usual local in-person tiling procedure which was in effect
at that time. The staf‘f‘at the Chicago INS Ottice would then process those batched cases as a
yroup and conduct a series of interviews on those cases at a community location. This procedure
is known as “off-site processing.” At the national level, in a number of intra-agency
communications, Commissioner Doris Meissner has encouraged INS field of’fices to institute off-
site processing initiatives, particularly for elderly applicants.

0. In my experience, the customer-friendly approach of the Community Outreach Program was
particularly helpful to those applicants who were elderly and disabled. Elderly and disabled
applicants often face a unique set of barriers in the naturalization process, ranging from physical
limitations to mental impairments to emotional barriers and high levels of intimidation. The
community-based approach of the Community Outreach Program helped to accomodate some of
the unique physical, mental and emotional barriers of elderly and disabled applicants.

 IO. Since February, 1996, when the INS instituted direct-mail filing to the Nebraska Service
Center for- all applications submitted in Chicago, the Chicago INS Office has eliminated the
Community Outreach Program. The INS has cited the inability of the computer system at the
Nebraska Service Center to segegate the batches of applications as the reason for the elimination
01‘ the Community Outreach Program. Therefore, for elderly and disabled applicants who have
difticulties coming to downtown Chicago for interviews, the new centrp.lized mailing system has
introduced a new delay in the naturalization process.

’ ‘ll~crc arc sc\~~;rl C.SCC~I~OIIS IO lhc litx-ycx nllc. illcltidiltg spot~scs of U.S. CI~IXIIS xld Itlilil;l~ ycrsoltltcl


                                                                 2
I I. Between January and April 1997, the Chicago INS Oftice attempted to accomodate elderly
applicants by reinstituting limited OR-site processing for elderly applicants only. In this short-lived
program, designated organizations could file batches of N-400 applications directly with the
Chicago INS ORice and INS staffwould come to community sites to interview groups of elderly
applicants. However, at the beginning of April, 1997, the Chicago INS Office terminated this
program, citing lack of resources.

 12. I believe that the increased efficiency of centralized data-entry processing should expedite the
processing of applications and reduce data entry errors. However, it appears that the
improvements at the initial stages of the process are olfset by the limitations on the INS to
implement responsive local programs. Direct mail seems to have eliminated the flexibility at the
local level to alleviate delays later in the process for populations with special needs such as elderly
and disabled applicants.

         B.         The interview

 13. The INS determines the applicant’s eligibility for naturalization during the second step of the
process -- a face-to-face interview of the applicant. The basic substantive eligibility requirements
include I8 years of age, five years of lawful permanent residence, good moral character,
continuous residence in the IJnited States, and a basic knowledge of English and civics.* After the
Chicago INS Office receives the applicant’s tile with the N-400 application form from the
Nebraska Service Center, it schedules the applicant for an interview. INS itself reports delays
between filing of the application and the first interview to be approximately six months. The
American Immigration Lawyers Association, which publishes the most authoritative set of data
about adjudication times, has also reported that there is a I SO-day delay from filing of the N-400
application to the date of the first interview. In practice, many practitioners report that cases tiled
as far back as I994 have still not been called for the initial interview. 1 personally represent clients
who tiled in 1994, 1995 and I996 who have been awaiting an initial or rescheduled interview for
considerably longer than 6 months, Many applicants have suffered significant delays due to
changes in INS procedures regarding the timing of fingerprint clearances. SW PPs. 2 l-25 below

 14. The Chicago INS Office has developed a unique procedure for determining an applicant’s
eligibility. In Chicago, the INS has divorced the testing requirements from the face-to-fact
interview. Unlike most other district otfices which test all requirements at the interview, the
Chicago INS tests applicants’ English and civics knowledge with an objectively graded written
test. Unless he or she is exempt from the testing requirements (see PPs I S- I6 below), each
applicant takes a test, consisting of IO multiple choice questions and a dictation, which is graded
immediately. The INS automatically reschedules applicants who fail the test for a second test and
interview in approximately 2 months, Applicants who fail the test twice generally withdraw their
applications and must file a new N-400 application and start the process anew. Applicants who
pass the written test satisfy all English and civics requirements except for the oral Enylish
component, which is evaluated by the examiner at +he face-to-face based on the responses to
questions regarding naturalization eligibility

’ Tlicrc X-C ;I stn;~ll niiinbcr of csccp~~ons to lhc siibst;iniivc rcclnircinciits wliicli ;irc not rclcvant to tliis dcclnration.
 IS. There are several exemptions from the English and civics testing requirements. First, the
statute exempts a set of elderly long-term permanent residents from the English portion of the
exam only. Applicants who are at least 55 years of age and have been lawful permanent residents
for at least I5 years (and those who are at least 50 years of age and have been lawful permanent
residents for at least 20 years) are exempt ti-om the English language requirement. Persons who
meet the requirements of the language exemptions may take the civics test in their own language.

16. Second, there is an exemption from both the English language as well as the civics content
examination for applicants who are unable to comply with the testing requirements due to a
physical, mental or developmental disability or impairment. Congress enacted this humanitarian
exemption to persons with disabilities in 1994 as a statutory change to the Immigration and
Nationality Act. Since its enactment more than two and a half years ago, the INS only issued the
implementing regulation on March 19, 1997, 62 Fed. Reg. I29 15-28. The recently promulgated
regulations require the applicant to submit a physician’s certiIication of the disability. The INS
then makes a determination whether the disability is sufficient to warrant the exemption.

 17. In Chicago, the INS placed over 300 naturalization applications filed by disabled applicants
pursuant to the exemption enacted in 1994 on “medical hold” until the regulations were issued.
Since the regulations have been published on March 19, 1997, the Chicago INS Ofice has
assigned one supervisor and four examiners to process the backlog of 300 applications as well as
incoming applications. In other words, most applications which were filed by disabled applicants
at any point after the statutory change in October, 1994, are only now beginning to move through
the remainder of the naturalization process. Additionally, these applicants are also facing the
delays due to fingerprinting procedures and other procedural barriers. SW PPs. 2 l-25 below.

18. For applicants who pass the test, the INS assigns their tile to an examiner for interview that
day. Depending on the examiner and the issues presented by the application, the interview can
last from IO to 45 minutes. During the interview, the examiner reviews the int‘ormation on the
application for any issues which could atTect the applicant’s eligibility fc>r citizenship. In practice,
the two most common issues addressed are good moral character and oral English ability. The
sood moral character assessment includes a review of any “hits” in the FBI clearance and an
assessment of the applicant’s truthfulness in answering the questions and disclosing information.
Under current INS procedure, the examiner must refer any case with a past criminal issue, no
matter how minor, to a supervisor for review and final decision. It may take up to six months or
more for a supervisor to issue a decision on a case with a criminal issue. For example, in cases
where an applicant has been erroneously arrested for thett and where all charges were dropped,
the INS can add significant delays.

IO If the INS determines that nn applicant does not have the requisite good moral charactLr or
meet one of the other requirements for citizenship, the examiner may give the applicant the
opportunity to withdraw the application. Otherwise, the INS issues a written denial which it
generally mails to the applicant a few days after the decision. A sample denial notice is attached.
These notices commonly inform applicants whether they are eligible to reapply for citizenship
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    after a certain period of time. An applicant who receives a denial has an administrative right to
    appeal.

    20. If there is a determination at the interview that the applicant meets all requirements for
    citizenship, then the examiner verbally informs the applicant that he or she passed. At this time,
    the INS has stopped its past practice of issuing dates for the naturalization ceremony at the time
    of the interview. Rather, the examiner advises .the successtil applicant to wait for a mailed notice
    of a date for a future naturalization ceremony.

            c.     Fingerprint Clearance

    2 I. As part of the N-400 application, the INS requires that applicants between the ages of I4 and
    75 submit a set of fingerprints. The INS submits each set of tingerprints to the FBI for a criminal
    check. The FBI searches for a criminal record for the applicant and sends the results of the search
    to the INS, which indicate either a clean criminal record or one or more “hits” of prior arrests or
    convictions. Under recently adopted procedures, the INS cannot schedule an applicant for the
    citizenship interview unless the agency has received a tingerprint clearance from the FBI. The
    INS routinely advises applicants that the FBI fingerprint clearance takes I20 days (4 months) to
    complete.

    22. Apart from the current standard 4-month delay in processing fingerprints, the fingerprint
    clearance process has been fraught with serious delays for a number of reasons. In response to
    allegations about insutlicient INS background checks of naturalization applicants, the INS has
    instituted two new sets of rules and procedures. The first change, pursuant to a regulation which
    INS promulgated on June 4, 1996, caused particularly signiticant delays in the naturalization
    process. On March I ~ 1997, INS implemented the new regulations which limit fingerprint service
    vendors to those designated and trained by the INS Since the implementation date on March I,
     1997, the Chicago INS Ottice has reported that the FBI has rejected a full 98% of the fingerprints
    which it received for citizenship applications. The rejections are otten caused by the FBI’s
    inability to “read” the fingerprints or by other defects in the vendors’ submissions. After the FBI
    rejects a set of fingerprints, the applicant has to obtain a new set of prints, resubmit them, and
    wait for the new prints to clear. This high percentage of fingerprint rejections has caused massive
    confilsion and fin-ther delays in processing of the applications for naturalization. The ditliculties
    which elderly and disabled applicants, many of whom have limited mobility and physical problems
    such as cramped hands, experience in obtaining a new set of clear fingerprints often increase the
    delays in print clearance.

    23. A second reason for serious tingerprint-related delays is that over the last six months the INS
    has been phasing in a new set of procedures in response to allegations that INS was inadequately
    identifying felons among citizenship applicants. The new procedure supercedes the previous
    policy of the INS to submit the fingerprints to the FBI and, if the INS did not receive a
    notification of a criminal record attcr I20 days of submission, the INS would complete the
    adjudication of the application for naturalization On November 29, 1906, the INS adopted a new
    p&licy that no applicant could complete the naturali/,ation process without an affirmative response
    from the FBI in his or her lile. Currently, the INS cannot schedule a new applicant’s case for the
been taking at least four (4) months

24. The change in policy has very seriously disrupted the processing of “pipeline” cases -- those
cases, generally filed in early 1996, which had completed all steps in the process and were only
awaiting a naturalization ceremony date. Under the new procedures, the INS determined that
many of those applicants could not be scheduled for a ceremony without a second fingerprint
clearance.” In other words, applicants whose cases had previously cleared the FBI under the old
&‘ l20-day rule”, who had passed the interview, and completed the entire process, now needed to
submit a new set of prints and wait at least another four months before they would enter the
queue for a naturalization ceremony date. (Jntortunately, many of these individuals were not
notified that their files required a new fingerprint clearance and did not understand the reason for
the delay. I personally represent numerous clients, particularly those who tiled applications in
mid- to late 1996, who must submit new fingerprints. It is my experience that without legal
representation, many of these applicants would not be aware of this requirement and their cases
would continue to languish at the INS.

25. Recently, I have received numerous reports from organizations working with elderly
applicants that INS staff have been informing applicants over the age of 75 that the agency is
holding their files pending a fingerprint clearance. INS policy exempts persons of 75 years and
older from the fingerprint requirement. However, I know that numerous exempt applicants have
already been asked to submit one or more sets of fingerprints by INS staff INS statf‘have
erroneously required those persons to submit prints, creating completely unwarranted delays in
the process.

         D.        The Naturalization Ceremony

26. The final step of the naturalization process is the naturalization ceremony where the applicant
takes the oath of allegiance and receives his or her Certificate of Naturalization. The processing
of the naturalization is not complete until the INS provides the applicant with the opportunity to
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attend a naturalization ceremony.

27. Due to the large number of applicants in the naturalization process over the last three years,
another considerable delay occurs between the time of the approval of the application and the
naturalization ceremony. Currently, there are about 8,000 applicants in the Chicago INS Oflice
who are awaiting a date for a naturalization ceremony, many of whom have been waiting since
last summer. 1 personally represent clients who have been waiting for a ceremony as far back as
 1995. After sub.jecting these clients to the lengthy wait, the INS is IWW requiring many to submit
new fingerprints under the new procedures and increase the delay an additional 4 to 6 months.



’ For csa~l~plc. aI a Il;llur;ili/.;lllotl ccrcinoy co-sponsored by IIIC Hcbrcw Inlnligr;lnl Aid Socicly (HIAS) for its
85111 anniwrsay. XS IICW citime wcrc lo bc nalurali/.cd iI1 ;I dignified ccrcmoy. A Tc\v d;ys bcrorc IIIC CVCII~.
dcspilc its CNOI-Is lo co~llplc~c IIIC processing. IIK Clhxgo INS Office inrormd HIAS Il1iII 35 orlllc X5 applicallls
cotlId 1101 ;~llcnd IIK n;~lr~raliuliol~ ccrcmoly bccausc lhcy did IKH II;I\C the rcqlircd fil~gcrprinl clc;Ir;IIlccs.
28. The current immigration statute permits two types of naturalization, judicial and
administrative naturalization. Traditionally, only the federal courts had the power to confer
citizenship to applicants in a traditional court ceremony with a federal judge presiding. However,
under the current law, the federal judiciary which has jurisdiction over an INS district may cede
that power to the local INS o&e to perform admistrative naturalization. Across the United
States, INS districts are either “admistrative” jurisdictions, where the federal court has permitted
the INS to conduct some or all of the naturalizations in the district, or “judicial” jurisdictions,
where the federal court has retained the power to conduct all naturalizations. Administrative
naturalization allows the INS the flexibility to naturalize applicants with special needs, such as the
elderly and the disabled, immediately after the interview or at a convenient time and location for
those individuals.

29. The Chicago INS Office is a judicial district where all applicants must naturalize before a
federal judge. Based on many discussions with applicants, most applicants prefer the dignity and
solemnity of a judicial naturalization ceremony. However, federal courtrooms in Chicago can
accommodate less than 200 persons at a time. Last summer, in an effort to complete the
naturalization process for the increased backlog of applicants, the Chicago INS Of?ice and the
federal court organized a number of impressive, large-scale ceremonies in Chicago. However, for
elderly and disabled applicants, the large-scale naturalization ceremonies entailed delays before the
day of the ceremony and, on the day itself. extensive waiting times and extreme physical and
emotional discomfort.’ Currently, for elderly and disabled applicants who must wait six more
months only to take the oath of allegiance, the burden of the delays leading to a loss of vital
benefits is likely to outweigh the benefits of a judicial ceremony.

II. Recordkeeping, File Maintenance, and Inquiries Regarding Naturalization Applications

30. Historically and currently, the INS has experienced a variety of problems with
recordkeeping, file maintenance and inquiries regarding naturalization applications which further
increase delays in the naturalization process. Currently, one serious problem is missing files.
Every applicant for citizenship has an existing file, called an “A file”, which contains the person’s
application for permanent residence and all other prior immigration documents. In the
naturalization process, the INS must “marry” the naturalization application to this A file.

3 I. In practice, I have observed that the INS has experienced numerous problems locating
applicants’ A tiles. If a person has moved from one INS district to another before liling the
naturalization application, there is often a significant delay in locating and transfering the file. In
other cases, the INS simply cannot produce a lost or misplaced A file at the time of the INS
interview. Sometimes, the entire file, including the naturalization application, is not available
when the applicant arrives for the interview. In those cases, the INS examiner creates a


’ The 111osl notorious csmplc or the discolllfort sukrcd by cldcrly md disabled applicanls was a 111~s
Inluraliulioll ccrcmog iI1 Augw. I VI0 [or lcii tllousm~d new cilizcns iI1 C’hicago’s opcwair stadium Soldk..
Field. AI lhis ccrcmony. which I ;wmdcd. applicanls had lo \vait l-or live or six llollrs under scorching heal
wilhour wlcr or prolcctioll rrollr IIK sun. Ncwsp;lpcrs rcporlcd i1s may i1s IIVO hundred IIC\V cilizcns hinllng l-roll1
rhc IIGII. While IIIC INS ;uicmplcd IO cspcdilc IIK process for cldcrly ;Irld disabled ;Ipplic:lnls. I obscrwd IIKII~~ of
IIKIII crying and st~fTcril~g Troll1 111~ cslrcmc lvxr :md slrcss of IIN C\IXII.
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temporary tile and, if necessary, asks the applicant to complete a new N-400 form in the waiting
room. I have observed this in a number of my own cases; I have also observed INS stat‘t‘come
into the waiting room and ask dozens of applicants to complete new N-400 forms because the lile
was not available. The missing files have caused significant delays for affected applicants. The
INS has cited written instructions which prohibit the agency from closing out applications based
on temporary files. In other words, the INS needs to find the original A file before it can schedule
an applicant for the naturalization ceremony, a process which can delay the process for months or
even years at a time.

32. Due to these various delays, an applicant may not know for months or even periods of a few
years the status of the naturalization application. Frequently, when an applicant experiences no
action on an application for a period of months or years, the applicant attempts to learn what has
happened to the application. Applicants who are not represented by counsel rarely receive
prompt replies to their inquiries. After a period ofdelay, many applicants who have waited for
months or even years for interviews or naturalization ceremony dates will retain attorneys to assist
them. In Chicago, the INS is somewhat more responsive to attorney inquiries on citizenship
cases, but even cases with attorney representation can languish at the INS for years. The INS has
instituted an “attorney book” where attorneys can sign up for slots to review up to three
naturalization cases per week with a supervisor. Currently, the appointments are running about
two and a half months behind. Often, I will arrive at an appointment after waiting several months
to have the supervisor inform me that the applicant needs to submit a new set of fingerprints. At
that point, the applicant -- who may have tiled as early as 1995 -- will have to wait 4 more months
for the fingerprints to clear, and only then will be placed into the queue for naturahzation
appointments or a ceremony date, for another period of several months.

33. While under the best of circumstances. citizenship is rarely secured in less than 6 months, in
most cases now, citizenship applications require one to two years to adjudicate in the Chicago
a?rea. In my experience, some cases require even more time, such as cases in which INS tiles are
missing a- lost, for reasons entirely outside of the control of the individual applicant.

34. To illustrate the delays at the various stages of a naturalization adjudication, I am providing
the following illustrative three examples from my own caseload. To protect my clients’
contidentiality, I use pseudonyms in place of my clients’ names:

        (a) Dora Anton, 60 years old, filed her application for citizenship in March of 1994. INS
scheduled her for her citizenship interview on October 3, 1995. However, due to a computer
problem, she did not receive notice of her interview and has been unable to obtain a new interview
date since her filing date in early 1994. I have submitted numerous requests to the INS for a new
interview for Ms. Anton without a response. Finally, at a long-awaited appointment with a
supervisor ip March of this year, the supervisor told me that under the new procedures Ms. Anton
needed to submit a new set oftinyerprints before INS could schedule her for an interview. Ms.
Anton submitted fingerprints in March, so at the earliest she wilt have an interview in August of
this year, following four months for fingerprint clearance and two months after clearance for INS
to set a date for her first INS interview At best, INS will complete processing of her case and
administer the oath before the end of 1997, over three and a half years fi-om the time that she filed
for naturalization.

        (b) Lily Aionti, age 3 I, filed her application for citizenship in October, 1995. She was
scheduled for a naturalization ceremony on July 9, 1996. Due to illness, she was unable to attend
the naturalization ceremony. Despite repeated ei’forts, our ot’tice was unable to secure a new date
for a naturalization ceremony for Ms. Alonti. I attended a meeting with an INS supervisor in
March, 1997 on this case. At that time, the supervisor informed me that under the new
tingerprinting procedures, Ms. Alonti needed to submit a new set of fingerprints. At best, she
may complete the naturalization process by late 1997, two years from the time that she filed for
naturalization.

         (c) Vandana Khan, age 48, tiled her application for citizenship in September, 1995. She
attended her naturalization interview in July, 1996. When she appeared for her interview, the INS
examiner informed her that INS was unable to locate her file and conducted an interview on a
temporary tile. After she retained me to determine the reason for the delay her case, the INS did
not respond to my inquiries. Pursuant to my advice, based on my experience with citizenship
delays, Ms. Khan submitted a new set of unsolicited fingerprints in early April of this year. In late
April, I received notification from the constituent staffer in Senator Moseley-Braun’s ofice,
whom we had enlisted to advocate in Ms. Khan’s case, that she indeed needed to submit new
tingerprints. Like many other cases in my caseload, without the assistance of an attorney’s
experience and Congressional action, Ms. Khan would have no means of determining the problem
with her case. If the INS locates Ms. Khan’s missing tile, at best she may complete the
naturalization process by late 1997, over two years from the time that she tiled for naturalization.

        (d) Fridrich Prejenko, refugee, age 6 I, tiled his application for citizenship in January,
 1996. He attended his naturalization interview at the INS on August 22, 1996. When he
appeared for his interview, the INS examiner informed Mr. Prejenko that they were unable to
locate his tile and that he needed to complete a new application for citizenship. From the date of
the interview, Mr. Prejenko has received no notification of a date for a naturalization ceremony. I
have repeatedly demanded that INS complete Mr. Prejenko’s file and schedule him for a
ceremony, but to date the supervisor has only informed me that the tile is “still with the examiner”
and that she will look into the matter when she “has time.” Mr. Prejenko is very nervous because
as an elderly refugee, he stands to lose his refugee benetits shortly if the INS does not complete
action on his file. It is difficult to predict when the INS will locate his missing file, close out the
case and schedule Mr. Prejenko for a naturalization ceremony. He filed for naturalization I l/2
years ago.

        (e) Harold Hallagan, age 42, filed his application for citizenship in May, 1996. He has yet
to be scheduled for his interview. I was concerned about this case because I was aware that his
tile was in New York, Mr. Hallagan‘s previous place of residence. In early 1997, in follow-up
etTorts by our o&e and the ot‘fice of Senator Moseley-Braun, we determined that the file had
been ordered from the New York NS OtTice. At a Fupervisory appointment in April of this year,
the supervisor told me that the fingerprints had properly cleared and that the file had arrived from
New York. However, she determined that Mr. Hallagan had not been scheduled for an interview



                                                   ‘)
because she needed “to fix something in the computer.” She assured me that she would release
the computer lock and schedule Mr. Hallagan’s case for an interview. Since the supervisory
appointment in April, more than a year after Mr. Hailagan tiled his application for citizenship, my
ottice still has not received an interview notice in this case At best, Mr. Hallagan will become a
U.S. citizen in the early winter of 1997, 1 l/2 years after filing his application for citizenship.

       I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing declaration is true and correct


   %- A:gf!k
Marketa Lindt, J.D., M.I.A.


Executed on this _ 14_ day of May, I997




SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN
0.8. Dapat+Mnt of mmticm-         -. -          Decision on
Immigration and Naturalization Se+' ei j
                                 --             Application for NatuW~~~aF~
                                                                    : - . '. : j




                   - 60110


DATE: October 30, 1996




DECISION
On Q9/19/94, you appeared for an examination on your application for naturalization,
which was filed in accordance with:

                Section u of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Pursuant to the investigation and examination of your application it ie determined
that you are ineligible for naturalization for the following reaeon(e):


                               SEE ATTACEMENT


This decieion is made without prejudice toward the filhg of a new application in
the future. It is noted that You may be eligible to apply for naturalization again
on or after:
                       JlUlSQU.

If you desire to request a review hearing on this decision pursuant to Section
336(a) of the Act, you must file a request for a hearing within 30 day8 of the&ate
of this notice.      If no request for hearing is filed within the time allowed, this
decision is final. A requeet for hearing may be made to the District Director, with
the Immigration and Naturalization Service office at 10 West Jackson, Chicago, IL
60604 (7:30 a.m.-2:OO p.m.), on FOXUI N-336, Request for Hearing on a Decieion in
Naturalization Proceeding under Section 336 of the Act, together with a fee of
$110.00.   A brief or other written statement in support of your request may be
submitted with the Request of Hearing.

Any questions which you have may be answered by the Service office nearest your
residence, or at the address ehown in the heading to thin letter.




                                            Acting District Director
      Enclosure ;8)
 Cl   Form N-335 (Rev. 10/24/41)N
                                       DECLARATION


       1. My name is Sarra Shvartsman. I live with my husband, Leonid Teper at 100 W.
Chestnut, Apt. 1004, Chicago, Illinois 60610. My Social Security number is 324-86-8554. I am
71 years old.

        2. My father was imprisoned by Stalin when I was eleven years old, and I never saw him
again. Later, when I was fifteen, my mother, grandmother, brother and I were confined in a
ghetto by the Germans for four years. We narrowly escaped being shot by the Germans many
times. I am a Holocaust survivor.

       3. I taught high school for over 30 years in Russia before I retired.

        4. I came with my husband to the United States in May, 1991 as a refugee from the
Ukraine. We became legal permanent residents, and began receiving SSI benefits based on our
age in 1991.

        5. In November, 1995, my husband and I passed the citizenship test. We applied for
citizenship in February, 1996. On August 14, 1996, we both passed the INS interview. Since
that time, we have not heard from the INS regarding our oath ceremony.

       6. My husband and I both receive $363 a month in SSI benefits and a total of $10 in
Food Stamps. If we lose our SSI and Food Stamps, we will have no place to live and no food to
eat.

       Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 5 1746, I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true
and correct. Executed on 0 5 - { 2,                   , 1997.

                                      Signature:   sms                   f(=-bocs
           1. My name is Leonid Teper. I live with my wife Sarra Shvartsman at 100 W. Chestnut,
l   Apt. 1004, Chicago, Illinois 60610. My Social Security number is 324-86-7638. I am 71 years
    old.

            2. I was a soldier in the Russian Army in World War II, and stayed in the military for 27
    years. After I left the Army, I worked in a clothing factory.

          3. I came with my wife to the United States in May, 1991 as a refugee from the Ukraine.
    We became legal permanent residents, and began receiving SSI benefits based on our age in
    1991.

            4. In November, 1995, my wife and I passed the citizenship test. We applied for
    citizenship in February, 1996. On August 14, 1996, we both passed the INS interview. Since
    that time, we have not heard from the INS regarding our oath ceremony.

           5. My wife and I each receive $363 a month in SSI benefits and a total of $10 in Food
    Stamps. If we lose our SSI and Food Stamps, we will have no place to live and no food to eat.

           Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. $ 1746, I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true
    and correct. Executed on        cw- /2 - ,1997.

0                                         Signature:     1 f2-a4LfpI!




l
       1. My name is Leonidas Perez. I live with my wife and two of our children - a 14 year
old daughter and an 11 year old son - at 3578 W. Palmer, Chicago, Illinois 60647. I am 77 years
old. My SSN is 334-82-3013. I am a legal permanent resident.

        2. I lived in Ecuador until I immigrated to the United States in 1989. My family and I
came to this country because we wanted to get our daughter an operation at Shriner’s Hospital
for scoliosis. We sold our family home, and I forfeited my pension, to make the move.

       3. My daughter recovered and now she helps teach citizenship classes here in Chicago.
She has been trying to teach me English, but it is very hard for me to learn this language.

        4. When I came to the U.S., I worked in a packing factory. I was fired after working for
1 year and 7 months, because the supervisor said I was too old to work. I applied for SSI shortly
thereafter. At the time, I was 72 years old.

       5. In February, 1997, I received a letter from Social Security, telling me that I would lose
my SSI benefits unless I was a citizen. I applied for citizenship when I found out that I would
lose my SSI benefits. I just learned that my fingerprints were rejected by the INS, and I have to
submit new fingerprints.

        6. I depend on my $432 a month in SSI benefits to help support not only myself but my
wife and children as well. The only other income in the family is from TANF - $377 a month.
We also receive $277 a month in Food Stamps. My wife became disabled with arthritis after
working in a frozen-food processing plant. She is unable to contribute to the support of our
family.

        7. If I lose my SSI benefits and my family loses Food Stamps, I do not know what will
happen to me or my family. We use the SSI to help pay for our rent, utilities and clothing. The
Food Stamps help us buy our food. I fear that my daughter will have to drop out of school and
go to work to support our family. I fear that my family will become homeless and we will have
to beg for food.

       Pursuant to 28 U.S.C.&1746, I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true
and correct. Executed on   1.1 L) 1 \/ 7?           ) 1397.
                                     I
                                         Signature:   !ii2Lfb
                                                      aj..j
       I,    - (Ic1     GE: L                , am fluent in both English and    yg P n ,‘/ L   .I
                                                                                 ”
have read the foregoing Declaration to ~~-~-l, :i’- 1   /C PC 7           , translating it from
                  (
English into     ‘1 -- r <.A                . After I read the Declaration in &-.d,L )
                  ,                                                              Y
s/he advised me that s/he agrees that it is true and correct and s/he voluntarily signed it.

       I declare, under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct.

       Executed on:        d7-L      1’1-7             4 - a
                                                        (Translator)
        1. My name is Rosa Alb Barrera de Perez. I live with my husband and two of our
children - a 14 year old daughter and an 11 year old son - at 3578 W. Palmer, Chicago, Illinois
60647. I am 50 years old. I am a legal permanent resident.

        2. I lived in Ecuador until I immigrated to the United States in 1989. My family and I
came to this country because we wanted to get our daughter an operation at Shriner’s Hospital
for scoliosis. We sold our family home, and my husband forfeited his pension, to make the
move.

       3. My daughter recovered and now she helps teach citizenship classes here in Chicago.
She has been trying to teach me English, but it is very hard for me to learn this language.

       4. When I came to the U.S., I worked in a frozen food processing plant for four years. I
was forced to leave this job because I have developed severe arthritis as a result of working in the
very cold conditions at the plant. I did not receive any workers compensation from this job. I
am now ineligible to apply for SSI benefits since I am not a citizen.

       5. In February, 1997, my husband received a letter from Social Security, telling him that
he would lose his SSI benefits unless he was a citizen. We both applied for citizenship when we
found out that he would lose his SSI benefits.

       6. I receive $377 a month in TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) benefits
from the State of Illinois. My family also receives $277 a month in Food Stamps. I have not
received any notice from the State that we will lose our Food Stamps.

        7. My family depends on my husband’s $432 a month in SSI benefits to help pay our
rent, pay utilities and buy clothing and food.

        8. If my family loses my husband’s SSI benefits and our Food Stamps, I do not know
what will happen to me or my family. I fear that my daughter will have to drop out of school and
go to work to support our family. I fear that my family will become homeless and we will have
to beg for food.

       Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. $J 746, 1 declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true
and correct. Executed on     &L, 3 2                  ) 1997.
                                  /
                                    Signature:
                                                                                                     I
                                                nyr,-,S\NS
                               \..J;\-i ‘i’“:,. “, .‘T COURT:
                                      C&  YizTsibd

                 Interpr%tki% hclaration Made Pursuant to 28 u.s.c. Q 1746

       I, +, i/: I 1                             , am fluent in both English and       L$ - // i-     .I

have read the foregoing Declaration to ,J,, :_ //’ /4-          T.r,co-   ,I, /,:-7 K , translating it from

English into      ,,f,, I - I ,‘G                    . After I read the Declaration in A, - , C            ,
                     I                                                                 f
s/he advised me that s/he agrees that it is true and correct and s/he voluntarily signed it.
                                                                                                        Bfl$@pJ
       I declare, under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct.

       Executed on: 71 7. L /4 7                                4-g
                                                                 (Translator)
                                        DECLARATION

       1. My name is Iakov Shmelevich and ,I live with my wife, Genya Shmelevich at 1135
Wilmette Avenue, Wilmette, Illinois 60093. My SSN is 356-84-2871 and I am 86 years old.

       2. I served in the Russian Army during World War II. After the war, I was a gymnastics
coach until my retirement. We lived in Minsk.

       3. In 1991, my wife and I left Lithuania, where my wife and I had lived for ten years, and
came to the United States as legal pelrmanent residents.

        4. I began receiving SSI benefits in 1994. I currently receive $363.00 per month in SSI
benefits and my wife and I receive a total of $10 in Food Stamps.

         5. I have just applied for citizenship. I did not know that I would have to become a
citizen in order to keep my SSI benefits until I received a letter from the Social Security
Administration on March 10, 1997. Because of my cerebral aterosclerosis, I have progressive
memory loss, and I fear that I will be unable to learn English and take the civics examination. I
therefore have applied for a disability waiver from the Irnmigrdtion and Naturalization Service.

        6. If I lose my SSI and Food Stamp benefits, I do not know how my wife and I will pay
our rent or pay for our food and other bills.

       Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 0 1746, I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true
and correct. Executed on

                              ygnature:
       1. My name is Genya Shmelevich and I live with my husband, Iakov Shmelevich at 1135
Wilmette Avenue, Wilmette, Illinois 60093. My SSN is 356-84-4492 and I am 77 years old.

       2. I served in the Russian Army during World War II as a pharmacist. After the war, I
remained a pharmacist until my retirement. We lived in Minsk.

        3. In 199 1, my husband and I left Lithuania, where we had lived for ten years, and came
to the United States as legal permanent residents.

        4. I began receiving SSI benefits in 1994. I currently receive $363.00 per month in SSI
benefits and my husband and I receive a total of $10 in Food Stamps.

        5. I have just applied for citizenship. I did not know that I would have to become a
citizen in order to keep my SSI benefits until I received a letter from the Social Security
Administration on March 10, 1997. Because of my major depression and dementia, I fear that I
will be unable to learn English and take the civics exam. I therefore have applied for a disability
waiver from the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

       6. If I lose my SSI and Food Stamp benefits, I do not know how my husband and I will
pay our rent or pay for our food and other bills.

       Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 0 1746, I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true
and correct. Executed on
                                                                                          A& : 8 1gg7
    I, Nhol Lim, state as followv:.,OHAL ;“3, \;:;;;StNS
                                 \‘I b          ..- n
                               cEr\;;, u*s. L’ ; i i JJ”R&
    1.     M Y name is Nhol % im. 1 was born on March I& 1922 and I am currently 75 years old.

    2.     I currently live at 4854 N. Kilbourn, Chicago, Illinois. I currently receive $484 monthly
           in Supplemental Security Income benefits (SSI) and approximately $50 monthly in Food
           Stamps. My social security number is 341-74-8450.
                                                                                 VJ’Ei- Gq WA
    3.     I am from Cambodia. I fled Cambodia in a                              went to a refugee
           camp in Thailand. I left Cambodia becaus                   ouge d killed my adoptive son
           in the war. My son had fought against the                  . TheJ Rouge targeted
                                                                            Khmer
           family members of soldiers who fought against them, so my family and I were at risk if
           we stayed in Cambodia. I fled to Thailand. I lived in the refugee camp in Thailand for
           approximately three to four years, until I was allowed to leave for the United States.

    4.     In approximately 1984, I entered the United States, leaving the refugee camp in Thailand.
           I am currently a legal permanent resident.

    5.     I applied to become a United States citizen in or around October 1996. My application
l          for naturalization is still pending.

    6.     If I lose my SSI and Food Stamps, I am not sure how I will support myself. Although I
           have some relatives living in the United States, they are not able to support me financially
           if I lose my SSI and Food Stamps.

            Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 6 1746, I declare, under penalty of perjury, that the foregoing is
    true and correct.

    Executed on:     .s ! - q 3                  %   bu-bi liM
                   Date                           Nhol Lim




l
                                     -_,--
                                    ,. - >,
                                              DECLARATION

I, Loeuk Roeun, state as follows:
                                                                      &S?
                                             42hck snq          @f’
       My name is Loeuk Roeun. I was born on m 2,1926 and I am curre
       old.

2.     I currently live at W, Chicago, Illinois. I currently receive $484 monthly in
       Supplemental Security Income benefits (SSI) and approximately $57 monthly in Food
       Stamps. My social security number is                                   *+j *v3. b&y +&h
                                                                             V\Q WV-&CA- wtt? by
       I am from Cambodia. I fled Cambodia m approxim                79 and went to a refugee   *‘“Lz
       camp in Thailand. I 1                                        uge had taken my husband and cd dwv-
       three of my children.
       and fled to Thailand.
       years, until I was allowed to leave for the United States.

4.     In 1981, I entered the United States, leaving the refugee camp in Thailand. I am currently
       a legal permanent resident.

       I applied to become a United States citizen on approximately December 5, 1996. My
       application for naturalization is still pending.

6.     If I lose my SSI and Food Stamps, I am not sure how I will support myself. Although I
       have children living in the United States, they are not able to support me financially if I
       lose my SSI and Food Stamps.

        Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 5 1746, I declare, under penalty of perjury, that the foregoing is
true and correct.

Executed on:      L-L;13-
               Date                              Loeuk Roeum
                          ,    ;                                   (Y&&Y :;
              DECLARdTIbN OF GRAZYNA KLINCEWICZ                         -*     F[~E-=J
I, Grazyna Klincewicz, state as follows:

1.                                                                   .’       eI -& t
       I am 47 years old, and live alone in Chicago, Illinois. &lfi ‘- 8 i!!S~,.~‘i~. “.‘. !X,Z31,NS
                                                                                        -i---c,
                                                                        CiER;(, & S. :riu~i\.v'T c;C)URJY
2.     I immigrated to the United States with my parents from Poland on or about October
       8, 1981.

3.     I currently receive $484 per month in Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability
       benefits due to epilepsy, spinal cord deformity, and kidney and liver problems. I also
       receive approximately $114 in state-funded Aid to the Aged, Blind, and Disabled
       program (AABD), and $104 per month in Food Stamps. My social security number
       is 339-70-3984.

4.     The Social Security Administration, in a notice dated March 17, 1997, informed me
       that I would lose my SSI benefits effective unless I became a U.S. citizen or
       otherwise fit into one of the noncitizen exemption categories.

5.     I applied for naturalization as a U.S. citizen on or about April 24, 1997, in response
       to receipt of notice from the Social Security Administration that my SSI benefits may
       be ended. My application for naturalization is still pending.

6.     Neither the Department of Agriculture nor the Illinois Department of Public Aid (the
       state Food Stamp agency in Illinois) has informed me that I could lose my Food
       Stamps as a result of the changes contained in the Welfare Act.

7.     I rely solely on receipt of SSI benefits, AABD benefits, and Food Stamps for my
       food, shelter, and clothing. If I lose SSI benefits and Food Stamps while I am
       waiting to become a U.S. citizen, I will not be able to meet my basic subsistence
       needs. Although I have family living in the United States, they are not able to
       support me financially if I lose my SSI and Food Stamps.

I declare under penalty of pejury that the foregoing is true and correct.
                                                   F : 7 ;< ay-J
                                                     . -
                                         _-.. -.
                                     I               II ‘1 1 5 ,y7
                                                                ~.
                   Interpreter’s Declarkm I&de Pursuant To 28 U.S.C. 3 1746
                                                         >J. cc. gjlN9                     A& 2 8 ;9n7
                                            I -. .,. , -                                          gWU
           I, Marge Bulkowski, am fluent @ both &-@li~li~~d%&&!~ read the foregoing Declaration

    of Grazyna Klincewicz (Declaration) to Grazyna Klincewicz, translating it from English into Polish
    After I read the Declaration to her, she advised me that it accurately sets forth her factual

l   circumstances and she voluntarily signed it.
                                       DECLARATION

     1. My name is Procoro Sifuentes. I live at 1959 W. Dickens, Chicago, Illinois 60614.
My S&al Security Number is 322-82-9930. I am a legal permanent resident.

        2. I immigrated to the United States from Mexico in 1988. I worked full-time in Chicago
as a landscaper from 1988 to 1995, when I was laid off. I was unable to return to work because I
have severe diabetes and I was diagnosed as HIV positive.

       3. In April, 1996, I filed for SSI benefits due to a combination of my diabetes and
complications from my HIV disease. I was found disabled by SSA in September, 1996, with an
onset date of disability of April, 1, 1996. I was notified by SSA on February 7, 1997 that I was
denied SSI benefits based on my citizenship status.

        4. I receive $100 per month from the State of Illinois’ Transitional Assistance program.
In addition to this cash assistance, which is the only cash assistance available to me from the
State, I receive Food Stamps of $120.

        5. Neither the Department of Agriculture nor the Illinois Department of Public Aid (the
state Food Stamp agency in Illinois) has informed me that I could lose my Food Stamps as a
result of the changes contained in the PRA.

        6. I applied for naturalization in October, 1996. I have also applied for a disability
waiver of the English and civics requirements. To date, my application for Lhe disability waiver
has not been approved, nor has my application for naturalization.

        7. I take 24 pills a day for my HIV, which has developed into full blown AIDS. The
loss of my Food Stamps will be devastating, given my need for taking my HIV medication after
a full meal, and my need for getting proper nutrition for both my diabetes and my HIV.

      8. I was counting on receiving SSI benefits to pay for my rent, utilities and clothing.
Without this income, I am unable to support myself.

       Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. $ 1746, I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true
and correct. Executed on           ALcqM 6            , 1997.
                                       J
                                      Signature:    Pra c 0 t?a S /JL 2 rC. .S
                                 CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE

        The undersigned attorney certifies that he served true and correct copies of the attached
Brief of Appellants and the Appellants’ Separate Appendix by Federal Express on the attorneys
for the defendants at their address, below, on October 6, 1997:

       Jacob M. Lewis
       Mark Stem
       United States Department of Justice
       Civil Division, Appellate Staff
       Room 7124 MAIN
       950 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
       Washington, DC 20530-0001

								
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