Q: What would happen if more Latinos applied for citizenship?

A: They could decide the results of elections in key states

WNYC offers a thought-provoking opinion piece this week:

To Build a More Perfect Union, Enfranchise Latinos

By Rodolfo de la Garza 


To read the whole article, use the link above. Here's an excerpt:

"Although the naturalization rates of Mexican and other Latin American immigrants have increased in recent years, they remain in the 30 percent range, the lowest for any group.  A major reason for this is that the cost of naturalizing continues to increase.  From 1990 to 2007 the cost increased from $90 to $675, which is not refunded if the naturalization application is rejected. 

The consequences of low naturalization rates for Latinos are severe. If Latinos who are legal residents, but not citizens, had all voted in 2010, they could probably have determined the results of every major election in Arizona, Florida, Illinois and New Jersey.  Although naturalization policies were not designed to have the effect of suppressing Latino participation, there can be no doubt that this unintended consequence has the same effect that closing polling places early has on African Americans."