SAN ANTONIO, Texas. Naturalization is the process by which a permanent resident or green card holder becomes a citizen of the U.S. According to the Pew Research Center, Mexican permanent residents have the lowest rate of naturalization over any other group. But why?
According to Dallas News, one of the big barriers is that getting a green card can be difficult. Mexican citizens who want to live or work in the U.S. have several options when it comes to immigrating, but the process can sometimes be challenging. Some immigrate on family-based green cards after getting married. However, in order to immigrate, an individual must have a sponsor who has the financial means to support the family-based green card holder. For lower-income families, proving financial means can be a process in itself. Individuals who want to immigrate to the U.S. on a work-based green card face other challenges as well, such as finding an employer willing to sponsor them. Others who plan to immigrate under NAFTA face challenges as NAFTA may undergo some crucial changes in the near future.
Immigrants from Mexico who have not married a U.S. citizen and who do not have work in the U.S. to sponsor them can still apply for family-based immigration if another family member is willing to offer sponsorship. However, the U.S. government places limits on how many of these visas can be made each year, so some individuals can find themselves waiting years before they receive a visa. Every country has its own wait time for this type of visa. The Dallas News reports that for Mexican citizens, the wait time for a son or daughter of a U.S. citizen to get a visa can be as long as 22 years. Employer-sponsored visas can also have long wait times.
Once immigrants receive their green cards or permanent residency status, they can, after a period of time, apply for citizenship. However, language barriers, bureaucracy, and financial barriers can still keep people from applying. While having a green card confers individuals the right to work and live in the U.S., U.S. citizenship offers the greatest protections and benefits, including the right to vote, the right to sponsor other family members, the ability to run for office, and the ability to carry a U.S. passport.
If you are a Mexican citizen or a U.S. citizen looking to sponsor a loved one for a visa, consider speaking to the Law Office of J. Joseph Cohen, an immigration lawyer in San Antonio, Texas today. Our firm can review your situation and help you navigate the next steps. Don’t let language or administrative barriers stop you from getting naturalized or stop you from receiving a green card.
Furthermore, if you or a loved one is facing deportation, the Law Office of J. Joseph Cohen is an immigration lawyer in San Antonio, Texas who may be able to help you. Contact us today to learn more about your immigration rights if you are considering immigrating to the U.S. from Mexico.