Massive Spike In Citizenship Applications newsvine furl google yahoo netscape

On the heals of a failed effort to pass comprehensive immigration reform, many legal immigrants are moving to secure a permanent place in America.

According to the New York Times, over 700,000 legal immigrants became naturalized citizens last year. This year, in May alone, over 115,000 applied for citizenship. If you annualize the may number, that comes to 1,380,000 applications, a rate nearly double that of last year.

The reasons are varied, to be sure; but, an important factor has been the national debate on immigration. It is believed many of the applicants are seeking to secure a more permanent place in a nation struggling with its image as welcome to all comers. Others are believed to be seeking voting rights to help steer the debate on immigration as it goes forward.

I'll be curious to see if this story provokes a xenophobic reaction from anti-immigration folks out there. This is, after all, what they want to see immigrants doing, so it shouldn't.

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