South Carolina residents are likely familiar with political discussions related to the numerous Mexicans living in the United States. They may be surprised to learn that 2013 estimates suggest that more than 5 million of these individuals are legal immigrants who meet the eligibility requirements for becoming U.S. citizens. However, just over one-third of these individuals actually go through the naturalization process.
The option of naturalization may be appealing, but experts believe that issues such as a lack of proficiency in the English language could inhibit many from proceeding with seeking citizenship. Additionally, the cost of the process may be prohibitive for many candidates. Mexican officials have emphasized that dual citizenship could be advantageous due to the ability of citizens to contribute to the U.S. economy while also participating in civic matters such as elections.
Reports indicate that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services encourages eligible candidates from all backgrounds to pursue citizenship. Some believe that dual citizenship is not permitted, which might hinder some Mexicans from naturalizing. However, a 1954 decision by the Supreme Court asserted that dual citizenship is recognized by law and that people could exercise their rights in both nations. Mexico approved dual citizenship in 1989, a fact that allows those who might seek U.S. citizenship to still feel a sense of connection with and loyalty to their home country.
People who are intimidated by the process for obtaining citizenship in the United States might begin by discussing their concerns with an immigration lawyer. A lawyer may provide a list of resources for learning English and U.S. history to ensure that a citizenship candidate is prepared for the tests that are part of the process. Legal counsel may also help to ensure that the necessary paperwork is completed correctly.