Which Nation’s Legal Immigrants are Least Likely to Become US Citizens?

Many liberals and conservatives agree that the legal immigration system here in the United States needs to be reformed to make it easier for some people. Legal immigration is the pathway to gaining citizenship. So, is it that difficult to legally immigrate to the United States?

Former business associates were born and raised in communist Romania. He is one of the world’s leading karstologists (cave specialist). He and his family (wife and daughters) wanted to immigrate to the United States, once the US government opened up Romania to immigration. When they applied to legally immigrate to the US, they were told the process would take a minimum of 7-years, possibly longer. They turned to Canada instead and found it only took a few years to legally immigrate to our northern neighbors. Today, this brilliant scientist and his family continue to reside in western Canada. Canada’s gain and America’s loss.

Another family I’m still close with were born and raised in South Africa. For years, due to Apartheid, no immigration was allowed from South Africa to the United States. Once Apartheid was gone, it became very dangerous for any whites living in South Africa, especially women and girls who were targeted for sexual assault and rape by angry black South Africans.

This family applied for immigration to the United States – father, mother, college aged son and daughter. When approval finally came through, after years of waiting, the father, mother and son were given permission to immigrate to the United States, but there was a complication that prevented approval for the daughter. Believing it was their only chance, the father, mother and son came to America. The daughter remained behind with relatives, and feared for her safety. A couple of years later, the daughter finally received permission and joined her family in California.

I asked the father if he ever thought of trying to enter the country illegally with his daughter and he said no, it was to be done legally or not at all because he and his family were not criminals. Today, he is highly offended by Obama’s open policy towards illegal aliens.

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Today, Democrats have been pushing to find a way to allow the millions of illegal aliens, mostly Hispanic, to become US citizens. Many illegals claim to want to gain citizenship, but how many who legally immigrate actually do get citizenship?

According to Pew Research:

“The overall percentage of lawful immigrants to the United States choosing to apply for and gaining citizenship is at its highest level in more than two decades. Yet in terms of naturalization rate, Mexicans – the single largest group of lawful immigrants by country of origin – lag well behind green-card holders eligible to apply from other parts of the globe.”

“Based on Pew Research Center estimates using the most recent U.S. Census Bureau data available, two-thirds (67%) of lawful immigrants eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship had applied for and obtained citizenship by 2015. This is the highest share since at least the mid-1990s. But among Mexican lawful immigrants eligible to apply, only 42% had applied for and obtained U.S. citizenship by 2015, a rate little changed since 2005 and one of the lowest among all immigrant groups when it comes to country of origin.”

One of the main reasons many legal Mexican immigrants gave for not applying for and getting is a lack of English language skills. But whose fault is that? I lived in Arizona for over 26 years and knew third generation Mexican immigrants who could not speak very much English. That’s purely their fault for not wanting to learn as there are many ways to do so. My friends from Romania found ways to learn English while still living in Romania and resources are far more abundant here in the US than in Romania.

Another reason is the cost. Again, I think that’s just an excuse as immigrants from other countries find ways to pay the citizenship fees. I have friends from Australia who managed to pay the fees and are now dual citizens with the US and Australia.

The third reason legal Mexican immigrants give for not applying for US citizenship is time, they say it takes too long. Yet, they live here for years and want to remain here for many more years, so what does time really have to do with it?

From the Mexican immigrants I’ve known and worked with over the years, many said they didn’t care about getting US citizenship and they wanted to remain Mexican citizens for their own personal reason.

Under Obama and liberal Democrats, there was no reason for them to become citizens. After all, they got more benefits from not being citizens and states like California and Oregon passed laws that provided them with the ability to vote in our elections, even though federal law prohibits them from doing so.



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