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Naturalizations Way Up Before Elections

From Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:

New citizens eager to vote

Number of naturalizations swells in months before election

By GEORGIA PABST

Posted: Oct. 22, 2008

An episode of gout put Jiju Kalapurakkal on crutches Wednesday, but he was determined not to miss his naturalization ceremony at Milwaukee’s federal courthouse.

“I didn’t want to postpone it because I wanted to become a citizen before the election,” he said.

Kalapurakkal, 38, who came here from India 10 years ago, is among thousands swelling the ranks of new Americans just in time for Nov. 4.

“Since the summer of 2007, we’ve seen a tremendous surge of applications for naturalizations, which takes from six to 12 months,” said William Wright, a spokesman for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in Washington, D.C.

One reason is the jump in the application fee from $300 to $595 in summer 2007, he said.

“But there was also a major movement from advocacy groups who pushed for naturalization as part of the get-out-the-vote campaign,” he said. “There was a lot of talk about comprehensive immigration reform, so many wanted to get in while they can. That motivated a lot of folks.”

In July, more than 113,000 people became citizens, compared with 57,224 in July 2007, he said. Citizenship figures for October are not yet available, he said.

Three separate naturalization ceremonies took place at the courthouse Wednesday, each with about 77 people from more than 30 countries. Two more are scheduled for today…

Armando Padilla, 34, a Mexican immigrant who works at a meat packing plant in Milwaukee, said he’s glad to become a citizen for the opportunity it will mean. He hopes one day to bring his parents here from León. He said he has not quite decided for whom to vote, although he’s leaning toward Barack Obama.

“I think he wants to help Hispanics,” he said

This is intriguing details mentioned in the article. Such as: 

“Since the summer of 2007, we’ve seen a tremendous surge of applications for naturalizations, which takes from six to 12 months,” said William Wright, a spokesman for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in Washington, D.C.

Aren’t we usually led to believe that applications for naturalization are always maxed out? Isn’t that one of the most common excuses for “illegal aliens” — they have no chance of getting in legally because of the long line?

“But there was also a major movement from advocacy groups who pushed for naturalization as part of the get-out-the-vote campaign,” he said

How and why should any “advocacy groups” have any affect upon the number of people being naturalized. Shouldn’t that be in the control of the federal government’s Immigration and Naturalization Service?

“There was a lot of talk about comprehensive immigration reform, so many wanted to get in while they can. That motivated a lot of folks.”

Are we really supposed to believe that these people would be so ill-informed that they would be worried that either of the two Presidential candidates would actually tighten the rules for legal immigration?

If they are that out of touch, maybe they should not be voting at all.

Armando Padilla, 34, a Mexican immigrant who works at a meat packing plant in Milwaukee, said he’s glad to become a citizen for the opportunity it will mean. He hopes one day to bring his parents here from León. He said he has not quite decided for whom to vote, although he’s leaning toward Barack Obama.

“I think he wants to help Hispanics,” he said.

So much for Mr. McCain’s near (career) suicidal efforts on “immigration reform.”

Once again we see that they got him not a thing from his hoped-for new constituents. And only grief and undying suspicion from conservatives.

Alas, none of this is new.

Lest we forget, during the Clinton administration Al Gore forced through at least 5.6 million new citizens to vote for Mr. Clinton in 1996 and himself in 2000.

A historical fact seldom mentioned in the annals of “election stealing.”

(Thanks to BillK for the heads up.)

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, October 23rd, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

One Response to “Naturalizations Way Up Before Elections”

  1. palwalrus says:

    I think you are missing the point here. People who apply for naturalization have already had green cards for at least five years before applying to be naturalized and only when they are citizens can they vote. I have been in the US for over fourteen years and wanted desperately to vote this election, I applied over three years ago and because of a clerical error that UCIS made my application was turned down and I had to reapply, so I will not be able to vote, so I know how this works.

    The reason that you can see a surge in naturalizations before an election is to try and get people to start the process to become citizens and vote. In real terms apart from the ability to vote and get a job in the government there are very few advantages to applying and the fees are high. Immigration is only the first step, and while they are related they are not the same issue.


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