For many years, the United States has prided itself on being a nation that’s accepting of all cultures, races and creeds. Each year, approximately one million legal immigrants come to the U.S. in search of the American dream. In 2016, more than 43.7 million immigrants resided in the United States, accounting for 13.5 percent of the total U.S. population, according to data from American Community Survey.
In 2016, Mexicans accounted for about 26 percent of immigrants in the United States, making them by far the largest foreign-born group in the country and about 52 percent of immigrants were female.
But one of those who want to immigrate to the United States and become American citizens? They can eventually become American citizens through a naturalization test and several requirements, including:
- Filing a N-400 form and being at least 18 when it’s filled out
- Being a permanent resident with a Green Card for at least five years
- Being a person of good moral character
- Being a person who can demonstrate they will uphold the principles of the Constitution
- Being able to speak, read and write English
In 2016, more than 750,000 people were naturalized and more than 150,000 of them lived in California.
Coming to the United States is also a goal for people seeking asylum. This means they-foreign nationals in the U.S. or refugees are granted protection. For those seeking asylum, there are several benefits.
- They are protected from being returned to their home country
- They are authorized to work in the United States
- They can apply for a Social Security card
- They can request permission to travel overseas
- They can petition to bring family members to the United States
- They may be eligible for benefits such as Refugee Medical Assistance or Medicaid
Applying for asylum is required within a year of arriving in the United States and there is no set timetable on when a person may actually be granted asylum. As of March 2018, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has more than 300,000 asylum applications pending and those waiting for an interview may have to wait as many as a few years.
The American Immigration Council provides a lot of helpful information on the different types of asylum one can apply for and what happens to those seeking it when they reach the U.S. border.
An immigration lawyer can help immigrants and refugees with the citizenship process and can also help immigrants in personal injury cases. You may ask, can illegal immigrants sue for personal injury. In short, the answer is yes and the matter has been left up to individual states to decide. An immigrant injury lawyer brings experience and can help undocumented immigrants recover compensation from an injury and help them reaffirm that they have rights.