Even When They Qualify For Citizenship, Few Mexican Immigrants Seek It | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

Even When They Qualify For Citizenship, Few Mexican Immigrants Seek It

While a path to citizenship is a central component of proposed changes to the nation's immigration laws, most Mexican immigrants now eligible for U.S. citizenship don't obtain it, according to a new study.

The Pew Hispanic Center report found that only about 36 percent of eligible Mexicans take the steps to become U.S. citizens, compared to 68 percent of all other immigrants.

The study, which was published Monday, doesn't say why there's such a big gap in naturalization between Mexican immigrants and immigrants from other countries who might face similar challenges. Even immigrants from other Latin American and Caribbean nations are naturalized at a much higher clip — 61 percent — than are Mexicans, Pew found.

Mexicans make up more than half of the estimated 11.1 million immigrants who are in the United States illegally, Pew said.

About a quarter of the respondents cited personal barriers, like the need to learn English and the difficulty of the citizenship test, as reasons they hadn't tried to become naturalized, according to the report, which is based on Census Bureau data. About 1 in 5 cited administrative hurdles, like the $680 cost for an application to become a naturalized citizen.

A bipartisan group of U.S. senators has proposed a blueprint for changes to immigration law that would include a legal path to citizenship. President Obama also is pushing for an immigration overhaul plan predicated on a provision that would let many immigrants now in the country start a process to become legal citizens.

And on Tuesday, the House Judiciary Committee was holding the first congressional hearing of the year on the topic.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Edison's Talking Dolls Can Now Provide The Soundtrack To Your Nightmares

Thomas Edison built and sold about 500 dolls back in 1890. Now, new technology has made hearing their supercreepy voices possible for the first time in decades. (Thanks, technology.)
NPR

Tea Tuesdays: Butter Up That Tea, Tibetan-Style

Yak butter tea is often referred to as the national drink of Tibet. It's been consumed in the Himalayas for centuries and helped inspire the Bulletproof Coffee craze in the U.S.
WAMU 88.5

Maryland Democrats Pressure Gov. Hogan On Education Spending

The General Assembly has been adjourned for almost a month, but Democrats in Maryland are still pressuring Republican Gov. Larry Hogan to release funding for public education.
NPR

Edison's Talking Dolls Can Now Provide The Soundtrack To Your Nightmares

Thomas Edison built and sold about 500 dolls back in 1890. Now, new technology has made hearing their supercreepy voices possible for the first time in decades. (Thanks, technology.)

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.