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Trends in Naturalization with a Focus on California

Using material available to the public from the Department of Homeland Security Office of Immigration Statistics, Migration Information Source “MIS” published an online article about trends in naturalization in the United States. I am going to report three of the California trends.

According to MIS:

  • Of all Mexican immigrants naturalized in 2010, nearly 70 percent resided in California, Texas, Illinois, and Arizona.
  • Half of all foreign born who naturalized in 2010 lived in four states: California, New York, Florida, and Texas.
  • The New York, Los Angeles, Miami, and Chicago metropolitan areas were home to more than one-third of all immigrants who naturalized in 2010. Here is the breakdown: Around 15 percent of all those who naturalized in 2010 lived in the greater New York metropolitan area (91,257), 8.4 percent resided in the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area (51,977), and 6.8 percent lived in the greater Miami metropolitan area (42,220). These metropolitan areas, together with the metropolitan areas of Chicago (4.0 percent), Washington (4.0 percent), San Francisco (3.4 percent), Houston (3.0 percent), Boston (2.7 percent), and Dallas (2.7 percent), were home to roughly half (49.8 percent) of all new US citizens in 2010.

This report shows that California has a very major population that is naturalizing. It is therefore no surprise that the San Francisco and San Jose USCIS offices are busy. Yet, apparently they are not as busy as they once were. According to MIS, the number of naturalizations decreased by 40.8 percent between 2008 and 2010, nationwide. MIS attributes this to changes in our laws. A more obvious reason not addressed in their report is that the economy was and is in a recession. In my opinion, people are not able to pay the filing fees.

For a list of all the statistics, have a look at MIS’s website.

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