A federal immigration agency has canceled a citizenship ceremony that was scheduled for today in Georgia’s Capitol, citing an updated policy it says it is applying nationwide to all naturalization events going forward.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services cited rules that forbid it from holding events at the locations of political advocacy groups and organizations that practice immigration law. Today’s event in Atlanta was organized by the Coalition of Refugee Service Agencies as part of its “New Americans Celebration.” The coalition includes groups that resettle refugees, advocate for them and help them apply for citizenship.
Critics questioned the timing of the government’s decision, noting that it comes a month after USCIS removed from its mission statement a phrase describing the agency as securing “America’s promise as a nation of immigrants.” At the same time, the Trump administration is seeking to substantially reduce legal immigration to the United States.