Saturday, March 31, 2007

Naturalization Up Among Immigrants

More than half of the legal immigrants in this country are now citizens. People are recognizing how important it is to become a citizen with voting rights. DP

By Darryl Fears, Washington Post Staff Writer The number of naturalized citizens in the United States grew to nearly 13 million between 1995 and 2005, a historic increase that reflects the nation's changing ethnic makeup and could increase the power of immigrants to affect public policy at the ballot box, according to a study released yesterday by the Pew Hispanic Center.

More than half of the nation's legal immigrants are now naturalized citizens, "the highest level in a quarter century and a 15 percent increase since 1990," when the proportion of naturalized immigrants reached historic lows, the study said. Since 1995, the average number of yearly naturalizations has surpassed 650,000, compared with 150,000 in 1970.

"We've seen dramatic changes in countries across the board," said Jeffrey Passel, the Pew Hispanic Center's senior research associate. "Today's immigrants are interested in becoming U.S. citizens," he said.
Be sure to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

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