Podcast: The Road Not Taken – Millions of Immigrants Could Apply for Citizenship, But Haven’t

Candidates for U.S. citizenship recite the oath of citizenship during a naturalization ceremony; photo: Wikipedia Commons

More than 8 million immigrants in the U.S. are eligible to apply for citizenship, but many of them have never taken the first step toward becoming a U.S. citizen. Some cite the high cost of applying ($680 in government fees, plus the cost of a lawyer), others worry that they don’t speak English well enough to pass the citizenship test.

Only 36 percent of Mexicans with Legal Permanent Resident status actually become naturalized U.S. citizens. That’s significantly below other groups including Cubans, Indians and Europeans.

In this podcast Fi2W’s John Rudolph attempts to unravel the citizenship riddle with Julissa Gutierrez, Acting Director of National Programs and Community Relations at the National Association of Latino Elected Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund, and Mark Hugo Lopez, Director of the Hispanic Research Center at the Pew Research Center in Washington DC.

Polls recently conducted by NALEO and the Pew Research Center reveal some surprising attitudes towards citizenship among Latinos and Asians.

Fi2W is supported by the David and Katherine Moore Family Foundation and the Ralph E. Odgen Foundation. The Fi2W Magazine was made possible in part by The Media Consortium and the Voqal Fund.

AboutFeet in Two Worlds
Feet in 2 Worlds (Fi2W) is an independent media outlet, journalism training program, and launchpad for emerging immigrant journalists and media makers of color. Our work brings positive and meaningful change to America's newsrooms and has a broader impact on how immigration is reported and the ethnic and racial composition of news organizations.