(WOAI - San Antonio) - There has been a lot of talk lately about a ‘path to citizenship’ in the new immigration reform law, but a new study by the Pew Research Hispanic Center says most immigrants from Mexico, who make up the bulk of illegal immigrants, are not interested in becoming U.S. citizens.
A study of millions of legal immigrants over the past thirteen years have shown that while 68% of non Mexican immigrants have taken advantage of opportunities to become U.S. citizens, only 36% of immigrants from Mexico have done so.
“The number one reason cited is language barriers,” researcher Mark Lopez said. “Many of them are not English proficient.” The study shows, ironically, that 93% of all immigrants would become U.S. citizens if they were able to meet all of the qualifications, but Lopez says many from Mexico were not willing, or able, to take those steps.
Lopez says the nearly $680 cost of going thought he citizenship process is also a barrier to many immigrants from Mexico.
The Pew study goes back to 1986, the last time a program similar to the one that is being proposed now, was implemented.
That program offered a ‘path to citizenship’ for those who were in the U.S. illegally then, and, once again, Lopez says fewer than four in ten illegals from Mexico stepped up.
“The last time the U.S. did something like is being proposed this time was done, about 2.7 million immigrants were given a green card, but something like just 40% eventually become U.S. citizens.”