Got Citizenship? An Exploratory Analysis of the Reasons for Naturalizing

Rebecca Kraus, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
Sara Speckhard, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

Since the mid-1990s, the annual number of persons who naturalize in the United States has remained at or above half a million people, with over 660,000 naturalizing in 2007. What is lacking, however, is data on the motivations and reasons individuals have for naturalizing after receiving legal permanent resident status in the United States. This project represents a first step in understanding why people choose to naturalize. In this paper, we will review the requirements for naturalization and the available social science literature on naturalization, and we will present an exploratory analysis of data from the Office of Immigration Statistics in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the New Immigrant Survey to determine what factors might predict future decisions to naturalize. This information will set the stage for a survey of recently naturalized persons that is currently underway under the auspices of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

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Presented in Poster Session 7