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South Florida sees increase in applications to become U.S. Citizens

Many people living in Florida but born in another country dream of becoming U.S. Citizens. This dream came true for earlier this month for more than 200 immigrants living in the Miami area. They took the oath of allegiance as part of a naturalization ceremony held at an office of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services located in Miami. In this particular group, the immigrants represented 35 countries.

Immigration officials indicate this group is part of a wave in applications to become a U.S. Citizen. The trend is taking hold in both South Florida and throughout the country. While each individual has his or her own reason for seeking to become a U.S. Citizen, a couple of trends have appeared.

The first reason being cited for the increase in individuals seeking to become U.S. citizens is due to the 2012 presidential election. People want to become citizen of the U.S. so that they can vote in the upcoming election. According to Miami's USCIS district director, this was the case in Florida before the 2008 election as well. It is a trend that is born out in the numbers. The Department of Homeland Security's immigration statistics show an increase that occurs close to every four years.

Not all of the people seeking citizenship cite the upcoming election as their reason for seeking to become a naturalized citizen however. A fair amount of people who recently took the oath in Miami said it was primarily for work opportunities. Many believe that they will be able to achieve their occupational goals here easier than in the countries they were born.

Whatever the reason, the number is expected to increase through the 2012 election.

Source: The Miami Herald, "Citizenship applications soar in South Florida," Alfonso Chardy, Nov. 2, 2011

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