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Drive-up US citizenship eases backlog, but new threat looms

Hala Baqtar
Posted at 3:40 PM, Jun 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-30 18:40:54-04

DETROIT (AP) — The U.S. has resumed swearing in new citizens, but the traditional oath ceremonies aren't the same because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thousands of people are participating in drive-up ceremonies intended to preserve social distancing. Now a budget crisis at the citizenship agency is threatening to stall ceremonies again.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has warned that it might be forced to place nearly three-quarters of its workforce on furlough next month, severely curtailing operations.

Tens of thousands of people could be left waiting to becoming citizens — and potentially new voters ahead of November's elections.