RE: IMO applying doesnt count. Being engaged doesnt make you married.
Let’s put it another way.... Most applications for citienships get APPROVED after you pass the residency requirements.
We don’t know if they did apply. But let’s assume that they did apply ( and they can by law because they’ve lived here for over 10 years ) and the application is approved, and they were sworn in as citizens like millions of others.
That makes them Americans.
We agree to disagree. There are some I will never accept as my fellow countrymen. They do not assimilate they are not American.