Allen B. West

Who’s moving to your state? Here’s where new citizens come from, by country

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Donald Trump made a splash in this year’s presidential campaign by making some strong points about our illegal immigration problem. No doubt, the diversity of our nation is changing with the tide of Central American and soon, Middle Eastern refuges we’re compelled to absorb.

But what of those people who have gone through the appropriate legal channels to become official American citizens? From whence did they come? You’ll be surprised, of course.

Marketwatch reports, of the nearly 800,000 people who became citizens in the 12 months ending September 30, 2013, more than a third of them came from Asia.

“Asians comprised the biggest group of new Americans by region, according to recent data from the Department of Homeland Security, edging out those from North America, in which DHS includes those from Central America and the Caribbean.

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Mexicans remain the single largest group of foreigners who were naturalized as citizens. But by state they are the biggest group in only 24. Among the remaining 26 states plus the District of Columbia, 10 other nationalities claim the top spot, as this map shows.

new citizens by state
In nine states, Indians made up the biggest group of naturalized citizens. Those from the Dominican Republic, who nationwide topped those from China for the first time in at least a decade, are the biggest group in five states, the DHS data show.

DHS counts 779,929 people who were naturalized across the U.S. in the 2013 fiscal year, up 3% from a year earlier but 25% fewer than the record 1,046,539 who were naturalized in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 2008.

Asians were 275,700 of them, followed by the 271,807 from North America, Central America and the Caribbean. Europeans, the biggest source of the immigration waves of a century ago, were 80,333 of the year’s naturalizations. By country, the biggest groups after Mexico are India, Philippines, Dominican Republic and China.”

Based on the DHS data, California, New York and Florida absorbed around 374,000 or almost half of the new citizen. Perhaps the most alarming data is that just over half of the citizens — around 450,000 either had no occupation, were unemployed or their employment status was unknown.

Of course that was two years ago….it will be interesting to see how those numbers change going forward. One thing is for certain, you can expect to see a lot more “se habla Español” in most states.

[Note: This article was written en inglés by Michele Hickford]

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