Rising fees and immigration debate lead to increased naturalization applications

Naturalization applications are on the rise according to this article from the New York Times. Citing the imminent rise in processing fees and the immigration debate as the reasons for the rise, the article reveals that many are now applying for citizenship so their voice can be heard, and felt, in government. From the article:

For many legal immigrants, worry about their futures in the United States turned into action after an announcement on Jan. 31 by Citizenship and Immigration Services that it would increase application fees.

Under the new fees, which take effect on July 30, it will cost $675 to become a naturalized citizen, up 69 percent from $400.

Immigrants have also been mobilized to press naturalization applications by a television and radio campaign that Univision, the national Spanish-language network, began in January in California.

The campaign, promoted by personalities like Eduardo Sotelo, a radio host in Los Angeles known as El Piolín, or Tweety Bird, has directed immigrants to 350 workshop centers run by churches and other community organizations in 22 cities. At the centers, immigrants receive English lessons and advice on meeting requirements and filling out forms.

One radio listener was Ángel Iván Álvarez, 24, a legal immigrant from Mexico who said he had never thought of becoming a citizen until last week when the Senate bill failed.

UPDATE: This Miami Herald editorial serves as a follow-up, showing how we need to make progress even though comprehensive reform suffered.