FORT SMITH, Ark. (KAIT/KNWA) - Lawful permanent residents that are applying for citizenship are struggling in a communication failure with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Fayetteville television station KNWA reports that Marisol Chanthavong has lived in the country for over half of her life as a lawful, permanent resident.
She said that the people who were supposed to help her and other immigrants file their paperwork forgot about a $1,000 fee required with the lawful permanent resident paperwork.
“If I had known that over 10 years ago that I needed to pay, of course I would pay it,” Chanthavong told KNWA.
She is willing to pay the fee now, but USCIS rejected her citizenship application because they did not receive the fee.
“They’re being denied [because USCIS is] saying they never paid the $1,000,” Rogers attorney Aaron Cash told KNWA. “Well, they’re willing to pay the $1,000, and they would’ve paid it at that time if they had known, but they didn’t know.”
When asked about the issue, USCIS Public Affairs Officer Sharon Scheidhauer said the government is unable to comment due to pending litigation.
KNWA reports that Cash hopes to hear a resolution from the federal courts within the next one to two years.