Eligible Latinos Urged to Complete Citizenship Process

March 8, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) released the following statement in response to the increased numbers of eligible Latinos seeking to become U.S. citizens.

According to federal figures, during the 2015 fiscal year, naturalization applications increased by 11 percent over the year before. In addition, from July 1st to December 31st of 2015, there was an overall increase in individuals seeking to become U.S. citizens.

"There are millions of Latinos who are eligible to become U.S. citizens but have instead kept their resident alien status," said LULAC National President Roger C. Rocha, Jr. "Although, these individuals have lived the American dream and have made countless contributions to our country, they are not considered Americans in the legal sense of the word. We urge these eligible Latinos to complete their naturalization process and become an instrument of change. In so doing, they will be eligible to vote and make a difference in our community and in the country."

Federal figures indicate that among the 8.8 million residents who are eligible to naturalize in this country, approximately 2.7 million are Mexicans.

"Under the Hispanic Immigrant Integration Program (HIIP), LULAC is currently working to ensure eligible Latinos have the resources they need to become U.S. citizens," said LULAC National Executive Director Brent Wilkes. "The HIIP program includes providing ESL and civics classes as well as assistance with the naturalization application to individuals residing in Arizona, California, Indiana, and Texas."

The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit www.LULAC.org.

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