Thursday, May 23, 2024

Over 66,000 Indians Naturalized as US Citizens in 2022

HomeU.S.Over 66,000 Indians Naturalized as US Citizens in 2022

In a phenomenon that defies conventional patterns, a staggering 65,960 individuals hailing from the vibrant nation of India chose to abdicate their birth citizenship and embrace American nationality in 2022 alone. This unprecedented surge propelled India to rank as the second-largest wellspring of new U.S. citizens, overshadowed only by Mexico, according to a revelatory Congressional report.

The report, a meticulous inquiry titled “U.S. Naturalization Policy,” unveiled the seismic demographic shifts transpiring within the fabric of America’s richly diverse populace. Compiled by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, the data exposed that in the fiscal year 2022, an astonishing 969,380 individuals from myriad nations renounced their former allegiances to be anointed as naturalized American citizens.

While Mexican nationals reigned supreme, with 128,878 individuals swelling the ranks of the newly naturalized, the Indian diaspora emerged as an unstoppable force, with 65,960 souls boldly choosing to plant their flags on American soil permanently. This tidal wave of naturalization from the Indian subcontinent underscores the enduring magnetism of the American Dream and the promises it still holds for countless immigrants worldwide.

The Philippine archipelago (53,413), the Caribbean’s Cuban isle (46,913), the Dominican Republic (34,525), the Southeast Asian nation of Vietnam (33,246), and the vast expanses of China (27,038) followed suit as significant contributors to America’s newest cohort of citizens. However, the sheer magnitude of the Indian influx was nothing short of a seismic event.

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Yet, the Congressional Research Service’s revelations extended far beyond the raw numbers. As of 2023, a staggering 46 million foreign-born individuals called America their cherished home – a remarkable 14 percent of the nation’s total population of 333 million souls. Of this vast multitude, a formidable 24.5 million, constituting a majority of 53 percent, had ascended to the coveted status of naturalized citizens.

Intriguingly, while Mexico boasted the largest contingent of foreign-born American nationals at a jaw-dropping 10,638,429 individuals, India emerged as a close second with an equally formidable 2,831,330 individuals hailing from the subcontinent. The People’s Republic of China trailed in third place with 2,225,447 foreign-born citizens calling America their adopted homeland.

However, the path to citizenship remained obstructed for a substantial portion of the Indian diaspora in America. A startling 42 percent of India-born foreign nationals residing within U.S. borders found themselves ineligible to pursue naturalization as of 2023. Nevertheless, a glimmer of hope remained, as an estimated 290,000 individuals from India holding the coveted Green Cards or Legal Permanent Residency (LPR) stood poised to potentially seize the golden opportunity of American citizenship.

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As the influx of new citizens from diverse backgrounds continually enriched the vibrant tapestry of American society, the report cast a harsh light on the persistent specter of processing backlogs plaguing the naturalization application system. While the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) had made commendable strides in reducing the backlog, with pending applications plummeting from a staggering 943,000 at the close of fiscal year 2020 to a comparatively modest 408,000 by the end of fiscal year 2023, concerns persisted over the efficiency and expediency of the naturalization process.

Strikingly, the report unveiled that in the fiscal year 2023 alone, a whopping 823,702 Legal Permanent Residents (LPRs) had submitted applications for naturalization – a mere fraction of the estimated 9 million LPRs deemed eligible to pursue citizenship that very year. This chasm highlighted the multifaceted factors influencing an individual’s decision to embrace American nationality, ranging from personal preferences and cultural attachments to the perceived advantages of citizenship.

Perhaps most intriguingly, the data exposed stark disparities in the propensity for naturalization among various immigrant communities. While immigrants hailing from Honduras, Guatemala, Venezuela, Mexico, El Salvador, and Brazil exhibited the lowest rates of naturalized foreign-born individuals, those originating from Vietnam, the Philippines, Russia, Jamaica, and Pakistan demonstrated an unparalleled zeal for acquiring American citizenship.

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As the United States continues to grapple with its intricate tapestry of immigration policies and the ever-shifting tides of global migration, the unprecedented surge in Indian-American citizens stands as a resounding testament to the enduring allure of the American Dream. Armed with their rich diversity, entrepreneurial spirit, and cultural vibrancy, these newly minted citizens undoubtedly contribute an invaluable thread to the intricate tapestry that defines the nation’s identity.

In an increasingly interconnected world, where borders grow ever more porous and the exchange of ideas and cultures accelerates, America’s capacity to attract and seamlessly integrate talented individuals from every corner of the globe will remain a pivotal factor in shaping its destiny. The remarkable influx of Indian-Americans enthusiastically embracing U.S. citizenship serves as a powerful affirmation of the nation’s enduring status as a beacon of opportunity, a crucible of unity, and an unwavering promise of hope for generations yet to come.

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Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee is a prolific author who provides commentary and analysis on business, finance, politics, sports, and current events on his website Opportuneist. With over a decade of experience in journalism and blogging, Mezhar aims to deliver well-researched insights and thought-provoking perspectives on important local and global issues in society.

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