Backlog in visa applications for DE immigrants

 

DELAWARE.- Many Delawareans have followed all the protocol to receive their visas, yet they say they still don’t have them.

Across the country, over a million visa applications are delayed with over four thousand of those in Delaware.

The processing center in Dover was the last center operating on reduced hours. I’m told this leaves many wondering where their citizenship stands which is stressful. “Imagine what that means. It could actually put people homeless if they don’t have a relative. It can cause them tremendous stress,” said Delaware Hispanic Commission’s Charito Calvachi-Mateyko.

To make matters worse, many have lost jobs and health care access due to these delays. “Just mentally I’m sure its incredibly taxing to worry each day because their immigration status issue hasn’t been sorted out. What if they come into contact with a law enforcement officer or what if they have to go to court for something?,” said Executive Director of ACLU Delaware Mike Brickner.

To combat this, legal counsel says time is of the essence and for applicants to apply early to avoid any other problems down the road. “We’re telling people at least 6 months in advance of when they need to apply that they should start seeking the help,” said La Esperanza’s Bryant Garcia.

Advocates also say to help fight the backlog — they could add more staff both locally and get outside help regionally. “There’s centers in PA, VA, MD, and Jersey and maybe they could shift some of the cases from Delaware over to those centers,” said Brickner.

Categories: Delaware, Local News