News & Politics

Immigration Advocates Now Shifting Focus to Citizenship

Who could possibly be surprised by this?

With anti-immigrant sentiment soaring among Republican presidential candidates, and immigration reform stalled in Congress and the courts, New York advocacy groups, with the support of the Obama administration, are redoubling their efforts in one area they can control: citizenship. They are pushing to convert as many of the country’s 8.8 million green card holders as possible into naturalized Americans.

The influence of the Latino voting bloc has added impetus to the drive. According to Latino Decisions, a polling and research firm, 80 percent of naturalized Latino citizens voted for President Obama in 2012. In New York State, there are approximately 915,000 legal permanent residents, more than 317,400 of whom are Latino, according to the Center for Migration Studies.

Nationally, nearly a third of legal permanent residents eligible to become citizens are Mexicans, a particular target of Mr. Trump, a Republican presidential candidate who has accused them of bringing drugs and crime into the United States and of being rapists.

“There’s something in the air saying that they’re coming for you, and that you better get as solid as you can,” said Allan Wernick, the director and co-founder of CUNY Citizenship Now, a legal assistance program operated across the City University of New York system. Mr. Wernick said that the CUNY citizenship clinics were fully booked — at 130 spots — in November, with no room for walk-ins as there was just six months ago.

There was never the slightest doubt that “advocates” for immigration meant to change the country. The Left couldn’t find enough support for its crackpot, anti-American policies among native-born, largely white Americans, so they took Bert Brecht’s advice, dissolved the people, and are in the process of electing another. Thanks, Ted Kennedy!