A growing national backlog of citizenship applications has left 18,707 people who applied in Seattle in “limbo,” as of March of this year, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced in a Monday press release.
Durkan joined 50 other mayors throughout the country, sending a letter Monday to urge President Donald Trump to reduce the citizenship process to six months. Some who have applied for naturalization at the Seattle field office of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services are waiting as long as 20 months, according to Durkan’s office.
There are more than 753,000 citizenship application cases pending nationally, according to Durkan’s office.
The Seattle field office handles applications from 15 different counties in Washington state, including King, Pierce and Snohomish counties. Field offices in Yakima, Spokane and Portland handle applications from other parts of the state.
Since the 2016 election, the number of applicants for citizenship surged, according to the nonprofit news organization Reveal. However, because the funding comes from citizenship applications collected the previous year, the funding has not kept pace with the increase in applications, Reveal reported.
Correction: An earlier version of this story and headline incorrectly stated that all the applicants in the backlog are Seattle residents. The Seattle field office of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services handles applications from 15 different counties in Washington state. The headline and story are now correct.