Biden is Enabling Citizenship Test Fraud and Abuse
FAIR Take | October 2022
In order to become a U.S. citizen, one long-standing requirement is demonstrating an ability to speak, read, and write the English language, as well as correctly answer at least six of ten civics questions (e.g. “How many Senators are there?”). The English portion only requires reading/writing one of three sentences correctly, the list of 100 possible civics questions and answers is available online, and applicants get a chance to re-take the tests if they fail the first time. They are also exempt from the English portion if they meet age and residency requirements, and can bypass all the tests at any age with a mental or physical disability – a claim susceptible to fraud and abuse. Now the Biden administration is making it easier to fake disabilities and avoid the tests altogether by removing questions from the form used to petition for an exception. This is part of its drive to import as many future Democratic voters as possible, regardless of the deleterious impact on the American worker and cultural cohesion.
On October 19, 2022, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it would shorten the Form N-648, Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions, as part of its “goal of removing barriers to legal immigration.” The new form would scrap vital questions such as how the claimed disability affects “specific functions of the applicant’s daily life, including the ability to work or go to school.” It would also eliminate questions about the date of diagnosis, so applicants can avoid testing based on long-resolved health conditions that afflicted them decades ago. No longer will doctors be required to attest to the severity of the claimed disability, nor to whether they have a pre-existing relationship with the applicant – making it easier for aliens with friends and family who are doctors to get sign-off on a sham exemption. The new form also eliminates the need for separate medical documentation for an “oath waiver” (to avoid reciting the standard oath of allegiance to the U.S., traditionally the final step towards citizenship) and facilitates remote medical exams, which make it harder to accurately diagnose a claimed disability.
In announcing the change, USCIS Director Ur Jaddou opined, “This is a wonderful example of how USCIS is listening to the public it serves in order to better address their needs.” Which “public” is it serving? Not the American people. Instead of fulfilling its duty as a vetting agency beholden first and foremost to hardworking American taxpayers, USCIS has moved closer to being a concierge service for the rest of the globe. There should be “barriers” to immigration – we can’t accommodate the whole world replete with criminals, terrorists, and public health risks.
At best, this new form foments low-skill and low-wage labor that undercuts the American worker. Many of those naturalized with this new form will not work at all, but will be burdens to public budgets for health care and other taxpayer-funded welfare. Instead of helping aspiring citizens get around simple English and civics tests, the Biden administration should safeguard the integrity of the legal immigration system by enhancing fraud detection and national security efforts. But we are not holding our breath with this radically open-borders administration.