Trump’s immigration policies catalyze downpour of applications for American citizenship
In the last one month, there has been a huge increase in the applications for US citizenship. Diverse authorized service firms in New York, Maryland and Los Angeles that cater to immigrants from Asia, Latin America and the Middle East have said that they are receiving increased number of quires regarding the mode to obtain citizenship of the US.
A monthly naturalization firm that focuses on Los Angeles’ immigrants from Asia has now doubled its wait time for a spot. Ever since the executive immigration orders were passed by Donald Trump, the number of migrants enquiring regarding US citizenship has almost doubled at a Muslim association in Southern California. The same was the case with associations that focus on immigrants from Latin America at New York and Maryland, according to an Advocate.
The increase in the number of inquires for obtaining a citizenship in the US is being witnessed due to the immigration policies that are being of late announced by Donald Trump. The data from the US government shows that in the last fiscal year 2016, almost one million people had applied for the American citizenship which is the highest number for last nine years, as quoted by Times of India.
As many as 6,000 individuals who were sworn as US citizens at the naturalization ceremony in Los Angeles were almost in tears and proudly waved flags at the conclusion of the long journey for becoming US citizens. Earlier in the week at a ceremony held in Chicago for naturalization of immigrants, the scenario was emotional as an immigrant from Syria completed the vow of allegiance. It was parallel to the legal battles being fought against the executive orders of Donald trump banning immigration from Muslim nations that included Syria.
Immigrants seek US Citizenship for the diverse prospects associated with it. The rights to vote, better employment prospects, the US passport for travel and the privilege to bring over family members from overseas are the various benefits of US Citizenship. But this year the reason is different – it is the apprehensions arising out of a Trump led administration.
The Asian Americans Advancing Justice in Los Angeles’s citizenship director Nasim Khansari has said that the reasons for securing a US citizenship have transformed drastically. It is no more about opportunities that come along with the citizenship, but about securing one’s place in a country that is led by a President who is hostile to immigration.
From past many years immigration lawyers have been calling upon the green card holders who are legal permanent residents to acquire citizenship as that would provide protection from being deported in case they were ever convicted of a criminal activity.
Nevertheless, several millions of qualified immigrants have been refraining from filing for citizenship by giving reasons such as the need to pass an English language test, citizenship test and fees that ranges up to hundreds of dollars.
The immigrants who intend to file for a US citizenship must have resided in the nation for at least five years as green cards holders. According to the statistics revealed by the Department of Homeland Security, by the year 2013, almost 8 million immigrants were qualified to file for a citizenship of the US.
The change of heart for many to apply for a citizenship came when Donald Trump announced his executive order banning immigration from seven Muslim-majority nations. Though the ban was eventually blocked by the US courts, in the initial days even the green card holders were held up at the airports for an inquiry along with the visitors.
In typical scenarios such as the regular hike in the fee hikes and elections for the US President, the number of immigrants that seek to avail the citizenship increase drastically. Both these scenarios were actually witnessed last year. Other international events such as the September 2011 attacks resulted in a hike of the applicants for citizenship.
An ink maker in Los Angeles who has resided in the US for nearly forty years now, Gustavo Zavala said that he obtained the citizenship of the US after he was urged by his daughters to do so. His daughters were particularly alarmed by the anti-immigration slogans raised by Trump in the run-up to the Presidential elections.