The Christian Science Monitor reports today that there has been a 79% SURGE in applications for U.S. citizenship--a raise that's expected to spike even higher over the next few months.
The surge is credited in part to a citizenship push by a coalition of pro-immigrant/Latino groups in Southern California whose battle cry is 'Ya Es Hora. Ciudadania!' (It's time. Citizenship!).
Why citizenship now?
A major reason is an increased desire by America's 8 million permanent legal residents to vote – the key benefit of citizenship – spurred by a year of debate over immigration policy and massive demonstrations in large US cities. Many immigrants are rightly appalled by the barbaric treatment of immigrants by elements of the government and anti-immigrant groups.
Ironically, the anti-immigrant/anti-Latinos drum beat of nativists has spurred one of the largest waves of citizenship applications in recent history. And the citizenship wave will ensure that the U.S. gain millions of newly minted U.S. citizens of Latino heritage.
"The same kind of political abuse that used to go on in Argentina I am now seeing in the US. I'm applying to become a citizen because I want to vote, to make a difference, to have a voice in democracy." Andrea Sbardellati
For claiming their beef is with "illegal" immigration and that they're neither anti-immigrant or anti-Latino, we should expect endless articles and posts praising the movement towards citizenship, right? The airwaves and tabloids should be packed with tearful stories of joy as waves of "legal" Latino immigrants swear oath to the U.S. Constitution and arm themselves with the right to vote, yes?
Sadly, it's more likely we'll hear a lot of angry muttering instead. Why? Because their problem has never had anything to do with whether Latino immigrants filed the right set of papers.