Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Fog 39° Fog
News >  Nation/World

After suit, Muslim gains citizenship

Orlando Sentinel The Spokesman-Review

ORLANDO, Fla. – For three years and three months, Ali Hussain has waited to become a U.S. citizen.

On Thursday, his wait was over – but not before he sued the federal government.

In February, Hussain and 24 other Muslims joined a statewide lawsuit against Citizenship and Immigration Services and the FBI for what they called unusually lengthy delays in processing their citizenship applications. Some waited as long as five years.

“The lawsuit helped my application. I have been waiting so long,” said Hussain, an Orlando machinist from Iraq.

In a post Sept. 11 era of fingerprinting and thorough background checks, legal action is also becoming part of the naturalization process, say some area attorneys.

“These lawsuits bring attention to the government that (processing delays) is a big problem,” said Shahzad Ahmed, an Orlando attorney who represents several Muslim clients.

Of the seven Central Florida plaintiffs in the statewide lawsuit, five have since become U.S. Citizens. Four plaintiffs were sworn in as citizens Thursday at the Orange County Convention Center.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe now to get breaking news alerts in your email inbox

Get breaking news delivered to your inbox as it happens.