Showing posts with label Hispanics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hispanics. Show all posts

July 2, 2017

Mexicans Among Least Likely of Immigrants to Become US citizens


PEW Research


A Mexican-born man celebrates after taking the U.S. oath of citizenship in a naturalization ceremony at the Los Angeles Convention Center. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
A Mexican-born man celebrates after taking the U.S. oath of citizenship in a naturalization ceremony at the Los Angeles Convention Center. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

The overall percentage of lawful immigrants to the United States choosing to apply for and gaining citizenship is at its highest level in more than two decades. Yet in terms of naturalization rate, Mexicans – the single largest group of lawful immigrants by country of origin – lag well behind green-card holders eligible to apply from other parts of the globe.
Based on Pew Research Center estimates using the most recent U.S. Census Bureau data available, two-thirds (67%) of lawful immigrants eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship had applied for and obtained citizenship by 2015. This is the highest share since at least the mid-1990s. But among Mexican lawful immigrants eligible to apply, only 42% had applied for and obtained U.S. citizenship by 2015, a rate little changed since 2005 and one of the lowest among all immigrant groups when it comes to country of origin.

Naturalization rate

The number of naturalized immigrants divided by the number of naturalized immigrants plus the number of lawful immigrants who are eligible to apply for naturalization in a given year.
As part of a larger survey of Hispanic immigrants fielded in late 2015, Pew Research Center asked Mexican green-card holders why they had not yet become naturalized U.S. citizens. The most frequent reasons centered on inadequate English skills, lack of time or initiative, and the cost of the U.S. citizenship application. These appear to be significant barriers, as nearly all lawful immigrants from Mexico said they would like to become U.S. citizens someday.
Overall, 11.9 million of the nation’s 45 million immigrants in 2015 held lawful permanent residence (LPR) status – that is, they held “green cards,” according to Pew Research Center estimates. Of this number, most (9.3 million) had met the eligibility requirements – including length of residence – to apply for U.S. citizenship in 2015.1 Mexicans made up 37% of this group and constituted the single largest group of green-card holders without U.S. citizenship by country of origin.2
In the United States, the citizenship, or naturalization, rate among all lawful immigrants steadily increased from 1995 to 2005, rising from 47% to 62%. Until about 2005, the naturalization rate among lawful immigrants from Mexico also increased steadily, but did so more rapidly (from 20% in 1995 to 38% in 2005), narrowing the gap between Mexicans and other immigrants. However, between 2005 and 2010, the naturalization rate of Mexican green-card holders leveled off, even as the rate for lawful permanent residents from other parts of the globe continued to rise. Only in the period from 2011 to 2015 did the rate of naturalization among eligible Mexican immigrants significantly increase again at a pace higher than that of other lawful U.S. immigrants – going from 38% to 42% among Mexicans, compared with a 2-percentage-point increase, from 72% to 74% among non-Mexican immigrants.
As of 2015, the naturalization rate for lawful Mexican immigrants trailed that of green-card holders from the Middle East by 42 percentage points (42% vs. 83%), and was 33 points behind green-card holders from Africa, 74% of whom had naturalized by 2015. Middle Eastern immigrants had the highest naturalization rate among all immigrant origin groups, while African immigrantssaw the highest increase in naturalization rate in the last decade.
Early signs are that 2017 could see an increase in the rate of naturalization of lawful permanent residents. According to the latest figures released by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Citizenship and Immigration Services, there were 525,000 naturalization applications submitted during the first half of fiscal year 2017, which started Oct. 1.3 That number is up 21% from the 435,000 applications submitted in the same period of 2016, which already had seen a spike on naturalization applications compared with previous years. The total applications for fiscal 2016 were up by 24% compared with 2015, and represented the highest number of applications for naturalization since 2008. Meanwhile, the number of lawful permanent residents admitted since 2010, many of whom would have recently become eligible to apply for citizenship, has stabilized at around 1 million per year since 2010.
Even so, the volume of citizenship applications in 2017 and 2016 still pales in comparison to the record levels seen in 1997 (1.41 million applications) and 2007 (1.38 million).These spikes were triggered in large part by congressional legislation passed a decade earlier that provided a path to lawful permanent residence and eventual citizenship for many unauthorized immigrants.4 The spike in 2007 occurred ahead of an increase in the citizenship application fee for adults, which rose from $330 to $595 on July 30, 2007.
Some have posited that fiscal 2016’s growth in applications and the more recent spike during the first quarter of fiscal 2017 (right after the election) are attributable to anti-immigrant rhetoric associated with 2016 U.S. presidential election. There is also evidence that some organizations worked to help lawful immigrants submit naturalization applications during the campaign.5 But at least some immigrants may have applied to avoid a further $45 increase in the citizenship application fee that was scheduled to go into effect Dec. 23, 2016. That increase, which raised the total application fee to $640 per adult, was officially announced in May 2016.

Naturalization rates among Mexican and other Latino immigrants

In 2015, half (52%) of all Latino lawful immigrants (mainly originating from Mexico, as well as Central and South America) eligible to become U.S. citizens had in fact naturalized. Among this group, Mexicans had a naturalization rate of 42%, compared with 64% among lawful immigrants from other countries in Latin America.
In its 2015 survey of Latino immigrants, Pew Research Center found that among lawful Mexican immigrants and other Latino immigrants, the desire to become U.S. citizens was high. Nearly all (98%) Mexican lawful immigrants and 94% of other lawful Latino immigrants said they would naturalize if they could.
The survey also found that about two-thirds (67%) of Mexican lawful permanent residents said they had investigated the citizenship application process, compared with 80% of non-Mexican Latino lawful permanent residents. And a large majority of Mexican and other Latino lawful permanent residents (70% and 66% respectively) said they planned to stay in the U.S. and not return to their home country later in life, one reason some of them might seek U.S. citizenship.
Despite their wish to naturalize, many Latino lawful immigrants were not familiar with details of the process. Just 16% of Mexican and 21% of other Latino lawful immigrants correctly answered that two tests are part of the U.S. naturalization process.
It is not only Latino lawful permanent resident immigrants who want to become U.S. citizens:  In the 2015 survey, Latino immigrants who did not have a green card and were not eligible to naturalize (a group likely in the country without authorization) also wanted to become U.S. citizens.6 According to the survey, fully 91% in this group said they would naturalize if they could, and about one-third (32%) had done some research into the steps needed to become a U.S. citizen, though only 5% knew they need to take two tests to naturalize.

Mexican and non-Mexican Latino lawful immigrants face somewhat similar barriers to citizenship

Asked why they hadn’t yet naturalized, the Center’s 2015 survey found that 35% of Mexican and 23% of other Latino immigrants with green cards identified personal barriers, such as a lack of English proficiency. Another common reason given was a lack of interest or just having not applied yet. About a third (31%) of Mexican lawful immigrants said this, while only 16% of non-Mexican Latino immigrants said the same. An additional 13% of Mexican and 19% of non-Mexican lawful immigrants identified financial and administrative barriers, mainly the cost of naturalization.
This report is based on three data sources. Data on naturalization trends among lawful immigrants are based on Pew Research Center estimates based on the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) and Current Population Survey (CPS). The ACS is a year-round survey of 3.5 million households conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. The CPS is a monthly survey of about 55,000 households conducted jointly by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Census Bureau. Each March, the CPS is expanded to produce additional data on the nation’s foreign-born population and other topics. Legal status of immigrants in the ACS and CPS is inferred based on methods described in the Center’s research on unauthorized immigrants in the U.S.
Latino immigrant attitudes about naturalization come from a nationally representative bilingual telephone survey of 1,500 Latino adults, including 795 immigrants. The survey was conducted between Oct. 21 and Nov. 30, 2015. The margin of error for the full sample is plus or minus 3.3 percentage points at the 95% confidence level; for foreign-born Latinos, the margin of error is plus or minus 4.4 percentage points. For a full description of the survey methodology, see the Methodology section at the end of the report.

U.S. Citizenship Eligibility

To become a U.S. citizen, a lawful permanent resident in most cases must:
  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Have lived in the U.S. continuously for five years.
  • Be able to speak, write, read and understand basic English.
  • Answer questions that demonstrate knowledge of U.S. government and history.
  • Undergo a successful background check.
  • Demonstrate attachment to the principles of the U.S. Constitution.
  • Take the oath of citizenship swearing allegiance to the U.S.
Some of those requirements are waived for certain groups:
  • Spouses of U.S. citizens can naturalize after three years of continuous residence, if the sponsoring spouse has been a U.S. citizen for all three years.
  • Foreign-born minor children become citizens when their parents naturalize.
  • Foreign-born minor children who are adopted by U.S. citizens are eligible for citizenship upon their arrival in the U.S.
  • Military personnel, their spouses and foreign-born minor children are eligible for expedited and overseas citizenship processing with the possibility of having some of the eligibility requirements diminished or waived. Additionally, in the case of death as result of combat while serving in active duty, citizenship may be granted posthumously to the military member and immediate family members.
The filing fees of processing a citizenship request for all applicants were $680 at the time of the Center’s survey in 2015. This included a $595 filing fee and an $85 biometric services fee for processing fingerprints. Starting Dec. 23, 2016, the citizenship application fee rose by $45.
The filing fee could be waived for applicants with family incomes below 150% of the poverty line, if they, their spouse or head of household receives a means-tested benefit, or if the applicant is experiencing a financial hardship that prevents them from paying the fee (such as unexpected medical bills). Starting Dec. 23, 2016 there is also a reduced filing fee of $320 available for naturalization applicants with family incomes between 150% and 200% the poverty line.

August 27, 2015

Anchorman Jorge Ramos Compares Trump as President to a Monkey with a loaded gun



                                                                       


Ricardo Sánchez, known as “El Mandril” on his Spanish-language, drive-time radio show in Los Angeles, has taken to calling Donald J. Trump “El hombre del peluquín” — the man of the toupee.

Some of Mr. Sánchez’s listeners are less kind, referring to Mr. Trump, who has dismissed some Mexican immigrants as “rapists” and criminals, simply as “Hitler.”

Mr. Sánchez says that he tries to focus on the positive in presidential politics, but he, too, at times has used harsh language to describe Mr. Trump, a real estate mogul, according to translations of his show provided by his executive producer.

“A president like Trump would be like giving a loaded gun to a monkey,” Mr. Sanchez said in one broadcast. “But a gun that fires atomic bullets.”
The adversarial relationship between Mr. Trump and the Spanish-language news media, which has simmered publicly since he announced his candidacy in June, boiled over on Tuesday at a news conference in Dubuque, Iowa, when the candidate erupted at Jorge Ramos, the main news anchor at Univision and Fusion, when he tried to ask a question without being called on. Mr. Trump signaled to one of his security guards, who physically removed Mr. Ramos from the event.

             

Jorge Ramos, news anchor at Univision and Fusion, questioning Donald J. Trump at a news conference Tuesday in Dubuque, Iowa. Credit Scott Olson/Getty Images:
“Don’t touch me, sir. Don’t touch me,” Mr. Ramos said, as he was marched out of the room. “I have the right to ask a question.”

Mr. Ramos was eventually allowed to return. But for the Spanish-language press, which has grown in size and influence in politics, the tense exchange was a highly public flexing of muscle against a candidate who many outlets no longer pretend to cover objectively: They are offended by Mr. Trump’s words and tactics — and they are showing it.

Some, including Mr. Ramos, said that their networks have covered Mr. Trump more aggressively than their mainstream counterparts, which until recently, at least, largely dismissed Mr. Trump as a summer amusement — less a serious candidate than a ratings bonanza in the form of a bombastic reality television star. (After the dust-up with Mr. Ramos on Tuesday night, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists issued a statement condemning Mr. Trump.)

Mr. Ramos, who earlier this month delivered a searing indictment of Mr. Trump, calling him, “the loudest voice of intolerance, hatred and division in the United States,” attributed the difference in approach to how directly the issue of immigration affects Latino Americans.

“This is personal, and that’s the big difference between Spanish-language and mainstream media, because he’s talking about our parents, our friends, our kids and our babies,” Mr. Ramos said in a telephone interview.

  Ricardo Sánchez, a talk radio host known as “El Mandril,” has at times used harsh language to describe Mr. Trump. Credit Monica Almeida/The New York Times
Mr. Ramos, who has been called the Walter Cronkite of Latino America for the tremendous influence he holds with Hispanic viewers, said that he could not recall Spanish-language news media covering a story as aggressively as it has Mr. Trump’s candidacy.

And though cable news and the Sunday morning news shows have blanketed their political coverage with stories about Mr. Trump’s improbable campaign, the focus of Spanish-language news programs has been almost exclusively on Mr. Trump’s controversial stance on immigration.
  
About 58 percent of all mentions of Mr. Trump in mainstream news media — broadcast, cable, radio and online outlets — in the past month have focused on immigration, while on Spanish-language news programs, the proportion is almost 80 percent, according to an analysis by Two.42.Solutions, a nonpartisan media analytics company. The Spanish-language news media has also been more critical in its coverage of Mr. Trump’s positions on the issue, with nearly all of it negative in tone.

José Díaz-Balart, the main anchor for Telemundo and MSNBC who takes a straight-news approach to his coverage and does not consider himself an advocate, nonetheless said that because of its viewership, Telemundo has delved deeper into the specifics of Mr. Trump’s immigration plan than many English-language outlets and has covered his candidacy with a sense of “urgency.”

“Our audience is very well versed, very knowledgeable, very well educated on the issue of immigration,” Mr. Díaz-Balart said, adding that his viewers are eager to hear “what are you realistically proposing and planning to do on the issues that are so important to the community.”
  
When Mr. Trump visited the United States-Mexico border last month, the Spanish-language networks devoted more time to Mr. Trump in their evening broadcasts than their English-language counterparts; Univision gave Mr. Trump six minutes, while Telemundo — which had Mr. Díaz-Balart anchor his nightly newscast live from the border — spent nine minutes on Mr. Trump.

In addition to his comments calling Mexican immigrants drug dealers and rapists, Mr. Trump’s immigration plan — which includes erecting a wall along the southern border and ending birthright citizenship — has also earned the ire of many Hispanics, who are expected to be a critical voting bloc in 2016.

Univision severed ties with the Miss Universe Organization, of which Mr. Trump is a part owner, because of his offensive comments about Mexican immigrants. Mr. Trump is now suing the network for $500 million.

Ken Oliver-Méndez, the director of the Hispanic media arm of the conservative Media Research Center, said that in the Spanish-language news media, “There’s just very opinionated, very sweeping condemnations of Donald Trump taking place.”

An analysis of news, blogs and forums by Crimson Hexagon, a nonpartisan social media analytics software company, also found that overall mentions of Mr. Trump in the Spanish-language news media since he announced his candidacy were 69 percent negative, but were less negative — 58 percent — in the English-language news media.
Critics of the Spanish-language news coverage, including Mr. Oliver-Méndez, say that the Hispanic press is engaging in advocacy and not journalism.

“The Spanish-language media is basically taking Trump through the prism of what’s best for the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country, so to the extent that Trump is coming out with statements that are threatening the existence of that community, he’s been covered like an enemy,” he said. 
He pointed to several moments last week on the national United States evening news broadcasts of Azteca America, a Spanish-language television network. In one, an anchor said that Mr. Trump had nothing in his head but air, and in another, Armando Guzmán, a Washington correspondent, accused Mr. Trump of lying: “As in everything else, Trump is not telling the truth,” Mr. Guzmán said.

The last one-on-one interview Mr. Trump gave to a Spanish-language network was with Mr. Díaz-Balart on Telemundo, shortly after Mr. Trump announced his candidacy. The Trump campaign said it continues to give credentials to Spanish-language organizations for its events and treats them like all other news media.

Alex Nogales, the president of the National Hispanic Media Coalition, a civil rights organization focused on American Latinos, said that the Spanish-language news media’s coverage of Mr. Trump has broad implications for the presidential election, whether or not he becomes the Republican nominee.

He said that for Latino voters, there will be a “reinforcement in terms of what they’re hearing, what they’re seeing, what they’re listening to” from the Republican candidates.

Lawrence Glick, an executive vice president at the Trump Organization who oversees golf, called Mr. Nogales this month, saying “he wanted to make peace” and set up a meeting with Mr. Trump, Mr. Nogales said. (The coalition has been calling for the suspension of all professional golf tournaments from Trump courses). But the two men seem to have reached an impasse, with no meeting imminent.

Mr. Ramos, for his part, sees a possible bright spot in Mr. Trump’s 2016 role.

“The only positive thing I might think of for Mr. Trump is that he brought immigration to the forefront of the 2016 campaign,” he said.

April 27, 2013

Hispanics Don’t Share The Bull About "God and Family Values'


 
Melissa Solis at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

New Republican research on the GOP and Hispanics gives the party reason for hope that it can climb out of the political hole it is in with these voters. But there’s some bad news mixed in with the good, laid out in a Public Opinion Strategies memo about two lengthy focus groups of Hispanic voters this month in Las Vegas.
The most surprising findings involve social and cultural issues. Conservatives may assume they have the franchise on “faith and family” and all that label signifies, but Hispanics don’t see it that way.
Polls show that Hispanics really do line up more with Republicans on gay marriage and abortion, as the GOP claims when it talks of Hispanics as Republicans in waiting or Republicans who just don’t realize it yet. But “by a rather staggering margin,” POS partner Nicole McCleskey writes in the memo, Hispanics say they are much more likely to agree with the Democratic approach to social and cultural issues.
How can that be? The POS focus groups suggested that while Republicans interpret “social and cultural issues” primarily to mean gay rights and gay marriage, for Hispanics the phrase has to do with justice, fairness, and respect for “cultural differences.” “It’s no wonder Hispanic voters are perplexed when Republicans insist we share the same values,” McCleskey writes. They are also perplexed when asked if the GOP is more likely to share their values of faith and family, she says, “because they do not see either party as having cornered the market on faith and family.”
McCleskey said in an interview that Republicans and Hispanics "talk past each other” on social and cultural issues, particularly when it comes to the phrase "faith and family." “I don’t know if they hear what is intended, which is that we share similar positions on the value of the traditional family,” she said. “It’s kind of a code and they haven’t gotten the decoder ring.” She said she doesn’t have the answer yet for how the GOP should proceed, and intends her work to be a conversation-starter.
On the good-news front, the focus-group participants liked what they heard about Medicaid, immigration, economics, and education in clips from speeches by some prominent party figures. But the people they listened to—New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush—are unusual in how they talk about these issues and seemed like anomalies to the focus-group participants.
Comments about Christie, who is expanding Medicaid under the new health care law even though he disagrees with the law, summed up the problem. After hearing him talk about the human cost of not taking the new federal Medicaid money, the focus-group participants described him as human, caring, and someone who calls it like he sees it—but said he is just one person. The overriding perceptions among Hispanics, according to McCleskey’s memo, are that “Republicans don’t want us here” and whatever they say about the economy “will naturally be to the advantage to the wealthy and hurt the working class.”
Martinez won praise from McCleskey for going beyond the “traditional opportunity refrain” to frame lower business-tax rates as a matter of fairness—leveling the playing field with neighboring states. Bush’s description of why he pursued his Florida education reforms—to lift the poor and shrink the achievement gap between white and minority students—was powerful and “surprising stuff” to the groups, she said in the memo. McCleskey also said Paul was lauded for using personal stories in a discussion of immigration reform and making clear it is about all immigrants and not just Mexicans. McCleskey warned, however, that Republicans need to be careful about stressing that new citizens will create new taxpayers. That point reminded the focus groups of their perception that “Republicans care more about money than they do about people,” she wrote.
It will take a presidential candidate to recast the image of the party, but the 2016 nominee is not likely to be one of the three politicians the POS focus groups showcased talking about immigration, education, or the economy. Martinez has signaled so far that she is not interested in a national race. Bush, whose wife is Mexican, clearly is interested, but the nation probably is not ready for a third Bush presidency (his mother certainly isn’t, telling NBC this week that “we’ve had enough Bushes” in the White House). As for Paul, he is laying groundwork for a 2016 bid and may be less of a boutique candidate than his dad, but his libertarian leanings and odd mix of positions still make him a long shot.
The GOP does have some politicians with the potential to shift Hispanic views of Republicans. Christie and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida are at the top of that list. “Those two dominate the landscape as far as being change agents for our party,” McCleskey told National Journal. But first they’d have to survive a primary process that in 2012 reinforced the idea that Republicans are hostile to immigrants and led seven in 10 Hispanics to vote for Barack Obama.
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