The process immigrants have to go through to obtain U.S. citizenship is notorious for being long and complicated, but many citizens who have gone through it are glad they did. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will handle your citizenship application, so it is in your best interest to become familiar with what they expect.
There have been a number of recent news stories that deal with the issue of citizenship. Many Louisiana immigrants are confused about their citizenship or permanent resident status and what it actually means. One woman came to the United States when she was a young child and later assumed that she derived citizenship from her step-father who was a U.S. citizen. She therefore never applied for citizenship. Unfortunately, she was never a citizen in the first place, just a legal resident with a green card. She later received an order from an immigration judge, which took away her permanent resident status and subjected her to deportation at any time.
At a recent call-in session in New York, thousands of people all across the United States got their immigration questions answered by volunteers. Some questions came up repeatedly during the session and the answers may help non-citizens in Louisiana get through the citizenship process much more quickly. One of the most common questions had to do with how well one has to speak English in order to become a U.S. citizen. Some wondered that if being a permanent resident for a number of years would make up for their inability to speak English well.
While much of the focus on immigration reform centers on Latino immigrants, immigrants of all cultural backgrounds face a number of challenges when trying to become citizens of the United States. Black immigrants, in particular, are having a great impact on Louisiana and the U.S. as a whole, both politically and socially. Nearly nine percent of the 40 million immigrants nationwide are black, making the total number of black immigrants close to 1.8 million. This number is nearly twice as high as it was in the year 2000.