Sep 11 2009
Study Find that Less Immigrants Applied for U.S. Citizenship Last Year
The number of immigrants that applied to become U.S. citizens shrunk 62 percent last year, due to the rise in costs associated with naturalization. In 2007, the costs for naturalization increased from $330 to $595 (with an additional $80 fingerprinting fee). Prior to that rate increase nearly 1.4 million people filed applications in 2007. This created a backlog that almost tripled the time it took to process these applications.
Last year, however, only 525,786 people applied for naturalization, the lowest number since 2003. In a report released by the National Council of La Raza, a well-known Latino advocacy group, it is stated that “eligible applicants face mounting economic pressures that threaten to place naturalization out of reach.”
The Council suggests that the government should look for ways to minimize the cost of processing these applications for those with economic hardship.