One of the most rewarding benefits of gaining U.S. citizenship is having the right to vote. For immigrants who want to vote in the upcoming U.S. presidential election, time is of the essence to get an application filed.
To ensure that an individual will have a vote, experts suggest that immigrants file their citizenship application by April 21 to improve their chances of obtaining citizenship in time for the big November elections, according to a recent article in the Asian Journal.
Most immigrants must already hold a valid permanent residency card, or green card, before they can apply for citizenship.
Recent statistics show that these new U.S. citizen hopefuls will join an exponentially growing group of individuals of the new and recently-immigrated. According to a recent blog in The New York Times, this election is expected to have one of, if not the, largest number of ethnic minority voters of all time. In 2010 elections, 6.6 million Latino residents voted, the highest midterm election turnout for this racial group, according to the Pew Research Center. Latino voters are expected to have an even stronger turnout in November.
While some of these Latino voters have been born and raised in the United States, many still have roots to their family’s native lands. A recent article from New Media America stated that, while most individuals of Hispanic descent are legalized citizens – more than 70 percent of Latino residents are legal – many of their friends or family members are not, and so immigration regulations play an especially important part.
Both the Times and New Media predict that voters from ethnic minority groups will decide many races in 2012. During the 2010 mid-term elections, U.S. Senator Harry Reid of Nevada received more than 90 percent of the Latino vote, and 86 percent of Latinos picked Senator Barbara Boxer in California, who handedly beat her opponent, the Times reported.