New National Campaign Urges Legal Residents to Naturalize, Vote
(NBC News story)
by SUZANNE GAMBOA
WASHINGTON, DC -- A decade after a tough immigrant enforcement bill triggered massive protests in multiple cities and inspired hundreds to become citizens, two groups have launched a new campaign to get millions more legal residents to become citizens and register to vote.
The Latino Victory Foundation and National Partnership for New Americans unveiled their plan, dubbed New American Democracy Campaign, to help 1 million people through the naturalization process next year and register many of them to vote in time for November's elections.
There are 8.8 million people in the U.S. who are already eligible to become U.S. citizens but have not done so. Of those, 3.9 million are Latinos. Unless that changes, they won't be able to vote in next year's elections.
The campaign also plans to target some of the 1.9 million U.S.-born citizen children of immigrants who turn 18 every two-year election cycle for voter registration. Because they were born in the U.S. the children are citizens at brith, regardless of their parents' status.
If just 20 percent of the 8.8 million legal residents eligible to be citizens - as well as the 1.9 million children of immigrants turning 18 and 11.5 million Latino citizens who didn't vote previously were persuaded to turn out - another 4.4 million people could be added to the electorate.