New statistics from the Center for Migration Studies show the potential for large growth in number of immigrant voters.
The study, based on 2013 data, concludes that 8.6 million Lawful Permanent Residents, also known as “Green Card Holders”, are currently eligible to Naturalize in the United States.
“Naturalization” is the process through which someone with a Green Card becomes a U.S. Citizen.
According to the report, the principal factors holding people for applying for citizenship are the expense of legal assistance, the high fees charged by Homeland Security to apply, and difficulties with speaking English.
There are 915,000 people eligible to Naturalize in New York State. While the largest number of those who can become citizens are in New York City, the suburban counties of Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester, all have large numbers of people who could Naturalize.
The study shows that there are 49,933 immigrants eligible to Naturalize in Nassau County. Suffolk has a slightly larger number with 50,916. In all, there are 100,849 people eligible to Naturalize on Long Island.
The largest concentration of those eligible to Naturalize in Nassau, live in the area around the village of Hempstead with 11,422 eligible immigrants. An even larger group of potential citizens lives in Brentwood with 14,078 eligible people. The next largest cluster lives in the corridor stretching from New Cassel, through Westbury, and running west past Mineola. Almost 7,000 permanent residents who could apply for Naturalization live there. The next largest concentration in Suffolk is in an area including Farmingdale and Amityville with more than 5,000.
These areas will likely experience the greatest number of people applying for citizenship as the election season heats up. Anyone wishing to apply for citizenship in order to vote in November should do so as soon as possible.
Free help with applications can be obtained at CARECEN 516-489-8330 or 631-273-8721.