Citizenship ceremony, Los Angeles. Rick Friedman photo from the New York Times.
File this one under "strategic incompetence"* -- seemingly everyday corruption and maladministration that has, for our rulers, the happy by-product of impeding popular participation in elections and the legal system that protects employees.
No reason why clerical drones should be paid a living wage. And if (mostly) brown people can't get through the citizenship maze, they will remain in legal limbo with second class rights -- and they won't be voting. That's okay, they mostly become Democrats anyway.
*I first heard the term "strategic incompetence" from Salvadoran activists who were dealing with the failure of their right wing authorities to register large parts of the population prior to a general election.