USCIS

Over 25 million Italians have emigrated between 1861 and 1960 with a migration boom between 1871 and 1915 when over 13,5 million emigrants left the country for European and overseas destinations.
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gennattasio
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USCIS

Postby gennattasio » 04 Jan 2009, 07:50

I'm soooo sick of waiting for my FOIA requests from USCIS. That status checker they have on their website makes me mental. The 2 requests I have in move about 10 positions a month, it's maddening. The incompetence of this agency is astonishing. I've been waiting over a year and at this rate it will be another 2 years. All the documents I requested from Italy came within 3 weeks, these are the only records I need for citizenship. Has anyone received their documents from USCIS?

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Re: USCIS

Postby johnnyonthespot » 04 Jan 2009, 08:16

gennattasio wrote:I'm soooo sick of waiting for my FOIA requests from USCIS. That status checker they have on their website makes me mental. The 2 requests I have in move about 10 positions a month, it's maddening. The incompetence of this agency is astonishing. I've been waiting over a year and at this rate it will be another 2 years. All the documents I requested from Italy came within 3 weeks, these are the only records I need for citizenship. Has anyone received their documents from USCIS?


I don't want to ruin your day, but you need to be aware that often times the documents finally received from USCIS are so illegible as to be totally useless. Look around in this and other forums; you can find several threads dealing with this issue.

Do you know if/where your ancestor naturalized? If so, there is nearly always a better place to obtain copies (legible!) of the documents in a matter of weeks rather than years.

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Re: USCIS

Postby gennattasio » 04 Jan 2009, 16:02

They did not naturalize, I need letters of no naturalization, I'm stuck waiting for the USCIS. I already read about their bungling on the boards and had my own experience with their incompetence. They sent me the documents for the wrong person so I had to appeal which put me back to square one again. The USCIS isn't even processessing 1 request a day. I'm sure that Bush probably did the same thing to the USCIS that he did to the Census Bureau which is also basically not a functioning organization any longer. I'm going to channel my frustration into a letter writting campaign.

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Re: USCIS

Postby johnnyonthespot » 04 Jan 2009, 16:28

gennattasio wrote:... I'm going to channel my frustration into a letter writting campaign.


Some people have claimed that contacting their state's US senators and representatives was all it took to give USCIS a kick in the right direction.

Also, be aware that USCIS instituted a new genealogy service beginning last August. The new service is supposedly faster (though not as far as I can tell) and there are rumors that the old FOIA office was raided to provide "bodies" to work in the new program. Look here. It'll cost $20 or so if you want to risk another request.

The thing that irks me about the government is that my tax returns, my water bills, my parking tickets, my whatever, *have* to be filed/paid on time or the proverbial stuff hits the fan. So, how come the government gets a free pass to take as long as they want to to provide services in the other direction?

By law, FOIA requests are supposed to be handled in 30 days (maybe 60, I forget the details). Many government bodies, including USCIS, have interpreted the law to mean that they must "respond" in some manner within the 30 days period. In their collective mind, the letter you got from them early on saying they received your request and have added it to the mounting backlog of similar requests, counts as an official response within the 30 day period.

Somehow, I don't think that is exactly what congress had in mind when the Freedom of Information Act was passed.

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Re: USCIS

Postby gennattasio » 11 Jan 2009, 04:45

Since venting my frustrations with USCIS I did a bit of research on the web and found that the problems they are having over there are frightening. This is a sample: http://charlotte.creativeloafing.com/gy ... id%3A47764

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Re: USCIS

Postby nuccia » 11 Jan 2009, 07:37

Well..certainly scary, isn't it?


But that is an article from 2006. Perhaps the issues they were having is one of the reasons they changed their policy last year? We all know that when it comes to this type of thing we will never really know the truth as to what's going on.
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Re: USCIS

Postby johnnyonthespot » 11 Jan 2009, 09:29

gennattasio wrote:Since venting my frustrations with USCIS I did a bit of research on the web and found that the problems they are having over there are frightening. This is a sample: http://charlotte.creativeloafing.com/gy ... id%3A47764


On June 22, 2008, I mailed an old-style FOIA request for a copy of my maternal grandfather's citizenship certificate which I require for another project. To ensure the correct record was found I included copies of the Declaraion and Petition already in my possession. As of a few days ago, my "Track One" request is number 1294 out of 6000+ outstanding requests. It has barely moved since my last status request 6 weeks before.

Once the new Genealogy system came along at USCIS, I filed a G-1041A request for the same info on August, 25, 2008. I received the document two days ago, on January 9, 2009. Thank goodness I requested electronic format as well because the printed certificate of naturalization I received was useless, just as were printed documents I have received under earlier FOIA requests involving my other grandfather. Simply printing the electronic copy (a TIF image on a CD) on ly own printer resulted in an image which was many times better than the one mailed to me; adjusting the contrast and brightness with an image-eding program improved the printed image even further.

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Re: USCIS

Postby gennattasio » 11 Jan 2009, 17:59

Nuccia, I know the article is from 2006, that is when the press got wind of it and broke the story. The changes they made were supposedly all on paper and nothing was adhered to. It would be impossible to completely turn around an organization that riddled with corruption without a complete overhaul, a lot of resignations and new appointments, that has not happened. There are many more articles on the web about it, also news videos on Youtube. The backlogs at this agency are notorious. All we can hope is that the new administration cleans house over there since all the higher ups are political appointments.
Johnny, so did you have to give up your FOIA request to reapply under the genealogy program and do you think that is a more efficient way to get the records? I was told I would have to withdraw my FOIA requests and reapply under the new program. It sounds like you got your docs pretty quickly.

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Re: USCIS

Postby tonyric » 11 Jan 2009, 18:22

I can certainly understand your frustration. I submitted a request through the new program in early NOV. to get my GGF c-file number and provided them with all of the information since I have his documents from NARA (covering my bases for the Boston Consulate) and I am still waiting. So much for making it a quicker process. Good thing I have documents from Japan to work on. LOL

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Re: USCIS

Postby johnnyonthespot » 11 Jan 2009, 18:57

tonyric wrote:I can certainly understand your frustration. I submitted a request through the new program in early NOV. to get my GGF c-file number and provided them with all of the information since I have his documents from NARA (covering my bases for the Boston Consulate) and I am still waiting. So much for making it a quicker process. Good thing I have documents from Japan to work on. LOL


Tony - as described above, I did exactly the same thing in late August and just received the document last Friday, so, a total of about 4-1/2 months.

Quicker? Well, I have an FOIA request (the "old" style) out there for the same info, submitted in late June. At the current rate, I expect it will be June of 2009 or beyond before I see anything...

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Re: USCIS

Postby johnnyonthespot » 11 Jan 2009, 19:01

gennattasio wrote:... Johnny, so did you have to give up your FOIA request to reapply under the genealogy program and do you think that is a more efficient way to get the records? I was told I would have to withdraw my FOIA requests and reapply under the new program. It sounds like you got your docs pretty quickly.


I cheated. :twisted:

I didn't see any point in cancelling my FOIA request only to find out that the new program perhaps wasn't going to be any better, so I simply submitted the new G-1041A request and let the other one ride.

The "new" request was handled in a total of about 4-1/2 months. I expect the old FOIA request to take at least 12 months, perhaps more, at the current rate of progress.


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