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

He Died At 32, But A Young Artist Lives On In LA's Underground Museum

When Noah Davis founded the museum, he wanted to bring world-class art to a neighborhood he likened to a food desert, meaning no grocery stores or museums. Davis died a year ago Monday.
NPR

The Strange, Twisted Story Behind Seattle's Blackberries

Those tangled brambles are everywhere in the city, the legacy of an eccentric named Luther Burbank whose breeding experiments with crops can still be found on many American dinner plates.
NPR

Trump Surrogate Tweets Cartoon Of Hillary Clinton In Blackface

Pastor Mark Burns mocked Hillary Clinton with a cartoon that read, in part, "I ain't no ways tired of pandering to African Americans."
NPR

A Robot That Harms: When Machines Make Life Or Death Decisions

An artist has designed a robot that purposefully defies Isaac Asimov's law that "a robot may not harm humanity" — to bring urgency to the discussion about self-driving and other smart technology.

Leave a Comment

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