More Mexican Immigrants Becoming US Citizens

Number naturalized soared 50% in 2007
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 11, 2008 1:45 PM CDT
This image released by the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago shows a detail from "C Jane Run", a work that part of an exhibit on immigrant life at the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago.   (AP Photo/courtesy of the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago)
camera-icon View 4 more images

(Newser) – In 2007, while the US hotly debated immigration reform, the number of Mexican-born immigrants who became American citizens skyrocketed, the LA Times reports. Experts attribute the jump—122,000 people took the oath, 84,000 more than in 2006—largely to an aggressive pro-citizenship campaign and a desire to beat steep fee increases. Applications rose about 50%, to 1.4 million, in the same period.

Community groups united in an effort to make immigrants aware of their naturalization options, helped along by a desire to have a say in the country's future, especially with a presidential election looming. "Immigrants are tired of the tone and tenor of the immigration debate," said one community organizer. "That climate has fueled their desire to have their voices heard."