With the 2016 presidential election fast approaching, large numbers of immigrants are finding themselves united by a common goal: become US citizens to let their voices be heard, especially on the subject of immigration.
Government data shows an increase of movement of more than 8 million immigrants qualified for naturalization, with their concerns geared towards meeting all the requirements to vote in the November elections.
With the issue of immigration more divisive than ever, the entire Latino community is under pressure to take a stand, or face the prospect of a Republican-controlled White House, which could push for the deportation of more than 11 million undocumented immigrations. GOP frontrunner Donald Trump hasn’t shied away from this polarizing issue, going so far as promising to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, and sending the bill to the Mexican government.
Immigrants Also Move to Support Obama Administration’s Immigration Programs
According to Breandán Magee of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR), there are concentrated efforts to encourage immigrants, both undocumented and with PR status, to naturalize and register to vote and fight back against the incendiary rhetoric espoused by candidates at the national level. Immigrants are also moving to support President Obama’s immigration executive action called DAPA.
Magee adds the general mood among the immigration population is a need to let their voices be heard and protect their families against blatant racism. Although they’ve long waited for the opportunity to become citizens, there’s never been a better reason to do naturalize than now.
Vote Against Trump and the GOP
Likewise, U.S. citizens of South American descent are mobilizing to take action. Despite being green card holders for more than 20 years, Elena and Esteban Salgado have never voted for American political candidates. They’ve never found reason to do so, until now.
The reason? They want to vote against Donald Trump. And they’re certainly not alone. ICIRR organizers have observed a spike in the number of Illinois immigrants with similar feelings as the Salgados. And it comes as no surprise, what with the outspoken Trump callously declaring Mexicans as criminals and drug dealers. Besides targeting Mexicans and immigrants from South America, Trump has also said he wants to ban Muslims from entering the country, albeit temporarily.
Fellow Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz shares many of Trump’s views, saying the solution to the problem of immigration in the United States is to deport millions of undocumented immigrants.
Not surprisingly, these fiery comments did not sit well with many immigrants across the country, particularly in Illinois where ICIRR has helped a thousand immigrants with PR status to become citizens for the express purpose of voting in November’s general election. ICIRR is just one of many advocacy groups and unions reaching out to immigrants, helping them take action.
If you or anyone you know is an immigrant wishing to obtain U.S. citizenship, talk to the legal team of Lyttle Law Firm. Call us today at (512) 215-5225.