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Immigration Advocates Accuse U.S. Citizenship And Immigration Of 'Second Wall'

Over the Fourth of July week, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will swear in more than 14,000 new Americans at ceremonies around the country. But a new report shows a growing backlog in the process has left 730,000 future voters waiting indefinitely.

The National Partnership for New Americans study shows the wait for citizenship has shifted from an average six months to two years, and possibly longer, since the White House administration shifted from Presidents Obama to Trump.

In Arizona, 14,445 applicants were waiting for naturalization six months ago. The study reports that list has expanded by nearly 30 percent since December.

Petra Falcon with Promise Arizona said most of the legal residents on the list have already lived the minimum of five years in the U.S. that's required to apply for citizenship.

"These are permanent, legal residents, in this country for quite some time," she said.

"They've already all had the background checks," she went on, "They've gone by the books, and have been living here contributing, and they've made a decision to become a citizen."

A spokesperson with Immigration Services said the agency remains steady in the number of people it is processing, attributing the rise of applicants to possibly more green card holders applying out of a sense of urgency under the new administration.

Holliday Moore is a native Arizonan and veteran journalist who joined KJZZ’s news team in January 2017.Moore graduated from Arizona State University after double majoring in mass communications and marketing/management. She spent her first two decades reporting for television news, beginning in small markets and working up to congressional correspondent in Washington, D.C., for a political news service.Family commitments in Arizona brought her back to the Southwest, where she covered legislative and court beats for Albuquerque’s KRQE-TV and the infamous Four Corner Manhunt as KREZ-TV’s managing editor.Back home in Phoenix, she developed ABC15’s “Democracy Project,” now instituted at all Scripps’ news stations nationwide. Her work garnered “Best Practices” recognition by the Poynter Institute and the prestigious Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Television Political Journalism.Her television reports, from sports to cultural issues, earned her multiple Emmy and Associated Press nominations, including a Rocky Mountain Emmy for her Hopi Partition Land Act coverage.As she started a family, Moore started her own media production agency, producing magazine-style travel stories for the Emmy-winning Arizona Highways Television show while working part time for a Valley radio station. She is convinced radio is where visual, sound, and print are merging through deeper storytelling. In her relatively short time with radio network affiliates, she has won four Edward R. Murrow Awards and multiple nominations from other professional news societies.Moore now teaches advanced broadcast writing to the next generation of reporters at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, where a high percentage have gone on to receive national awards for their work in her class. She enjoys being back home near childhood friends and sharing the beautiful Arizona desert with her husband and young son.