New study ranks Filipinos third in highest rates of naturalized US citizens

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – For some Filipinos the gold paved roads of the American Dream leads through here at the public library where hundreds of Asians residents spent their day filling out the 21-page-form and reviewing tests to become U.S. citizens.

Groups like Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAAJ) hold these workshops year round throughout the country with local community groups assisting aspiring citizens with the lengthy application process.

“Ang laki talaga kasi ako hindi masyado nakaka intindi daan. Nakaka basa pero hindi ko masyado na intindian kaya,” said Elena Quilbio. “It’s so long.”

“We know that not everybody is eligible for citizenship,” said Mark Yoshida, a senior staff attorney for AAAJ. “We’re trying to help as many people as we can.”
There’s no slowing down for these workshops. In recent years Asian migration has outpaced Latino and more of them are becoming naturalized American citizens.

A study released by New American Media and the National Immigration Forum shows that 47 percent of people living in America are naturalized citizens.

The rate of Asians who naturalize were higher with 59 percent.

At 76 and 74 percent respectively, Vietnamese and Taiwanese immigrants had the highest rates of naturalized U.S. citizens while Filipinos came in third at 68 percent.

Asian Americans represent one of the fastest growing populations and despite the high naturalization rates community leaders want to emphasize that the citizenship comes with great responsibilities like being engaged and making their voices heard especially at the ballot boxes.

“We’re very focused on civic engagement where it’s not just people becoming citizens but also registering to vote, and voting and really knowing the issues and knowing about elected officials to really have a say in what happens in the future,” said Yoshida.

It’s something that these aspiring citizens hope to be a part of.

“Kung pwede ako bumoboto ako. Bumoboto ditto mga Quran,” said Quilbio.

But as they say, actions speak louder than words. Data by the Pew Research numbers show that nine million Asian Americans were eligible to vote in 2014 but since 1998 only about a third have actually hit the ballot boxes.

7 Comments on this post.

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  • Mario
    4 July 2015 at 10:27 pm - Reply

    It is for economic and medical reason why green card holder are converting to become a US citizen.Obama and the Democrats already bankrupt the US treasury,we are surviving on borrowed money and yet they continue printing and spending money with no limit.In time of crisis Citizen will be protected first and will get the priority, followed by the green card holder. Someday, no more Soc Sec benefits, citizen will be first in line specially on medical help.

  • Melinda
    4 July 2015 at 11:22 pm - Reply

    My family friend does a great job sharing the story of her life here in this book!! It’s worth the read!

  • JRB
    5 July 2015 at 1:06 pm - Reply

    The blame to all this trash about Filipinos third in highest rates of Naturalized us citizen is because Philippines can’t take care of there people. Look at the government taking money from the poor, and the people can’t feed there family, sick very sick. That’s way when I see this people I feel shame to even look at them in America. America we should close the door to this people coming to our home country once and for all for the true Americans that live here in America.

    • Arbi
      5 July 2015 at 2:46 pm - Reply

      the kind of attitude you have, i’ll you do eat your young……..

    • jose
      8 July 2015 at 2:40 pm - Reply

      Please lang po, hwag ng magcomment kung aapaw lang ang kabobohan. Ito pong balita ay hindi po masama para sa mga Pilipino. Kung si Noz at Delia nga po ay papalakpak pa ang kanilang puwet sa mga legal immigrants na magiging naturalized citizens at walang commento dito, marahel wala na silang pake, kayo pa kaya?

      • noz
        8 July 2015 at 5:37 pm - Reply

        SO WHAT THE F–K YOU ARE INTO. CRIMINAL ILLEGAL ALIEN THIEF, YOU HAVE NO SAY. YOU NEED TO BE KICKED BY ICE BACK TO YOUR SLUM RATHOLE, ASSHAT RUNNING AROUND LOOSE IN SANCTUARY CITY, HOPPING FROM ONE SANCTUARY CITY TO THE NEXT TO LURE ICE. CRIMINAL ILLEGAL ALIEN THIEF, YOUR DAYS ARE NUMBERED, GET READY TO BE DEPORTED BACK TO YOUR BANANANATION TO SQUAT, UNTIL YOUR LAST BREATH…………

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