India second largest source of new citizens for US

Individuals born in Mexico represented the largest number of naturalisations, followed by persons from India, Philippines, Cuba, and Dominican Republic…reports Asian Lite News

As many as 65,960 Indians officially became US citizens, making India the second-largest source country for new citizens in America after Mexico, according to a latest Congressional report. An estimated 46 million foreign-born persons resided in the United States in 2022, approximately 14 per cent of the total US population of 333 million, according to American Community Survey data from the US Census Bureau. Of these, 24.5 million, about 53 per cent, reported their status as naturalised citizens.

In its latest “US Naturalisation Policy” report of April 15, the independent Congressional Research Service in the fiscal year 2022, 969,380 individuals became naturalised US citizens. “Individuals born in Mexico represented the largest number of naturalisations, followed by persons from India, Philippines, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic,” it said. Based on the latest available data, CRS said in 2022, as many as 128,878, Mexican nationals became American citizens. They were followed by Indians (65,960), the Philippines (53,413), Cuba (46,913), Dominican Republic (34,525), Vietnam (33,246) and China (27.038). According to CRS as of 2023, 2,831,330 foreign-born American nationals were from India, which is the second largest number after Mexico’s 10,638,429. Mexico and India are followed by China with 2,225,447 foreign-born American nationals.

However, as many as 42 percent of the India-born foreign nationals living in the US are currently ineligible to become US citizens, CRS report said. As of 2023, as many as 290,000 India-born foreign nationals who were on Green Card or Legal Permanent Residency (LPR) were potentially eligible for naturalisation. CRS said in recent years, some observers have expressed concern over USCIS processing backlogs for naturalisation applications. Although there continues to be a backlog of naturalisation applications, since FY2020 the agency has reduced the number of applications pending completion by more than half. As of the end of FY2023, USCIS had approximately 408,000 pending naturalisation applications, down from 550,000 at the end of FY2022; 840,000 at the end of FY2021; and 943,000 at the end of FY2020. In FY2023, 823,702 LPRs submitted naturalisation applications. The number of individuals who have recently applied for citizenship remains well below the estimated population of 9 million LPRs who were eligible to naturalise in 2023.

The percentage of foreign-born individuals who are naturalized varies by several factors, including country of origin. Immigrants from Honduras, Guatemala, Venezuela, Mexico, El Salvador, and Brazil have the lowest percentages of naturalized foreign-born, while those from Vietnam, the Philippines, Russia, Jamaica, and Pakistan have the highest. To be eligible for naturalisation, an applicant must fulfill certain eligibility requirements set forth in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The requirements generally include being a lawful permanent resident (LPR) for at least five years. To qualify for naturalization, applicants must meet specific eligibility requirements outlined in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), including being a lawful permanent resident for at least five years. As the United States continues to grapple with complex immigration debates and policies, the CRS report sheds light on the vital role of naturalization in shaping the nation’s demographic landscape. The surge of Indian-Americans gaining citizenship not only underscores the vibrant Indian diaspora but also highlights the enduring allure of the American dream for immigrants seeking a new home and identity.

Rise in Indians illegally crossing US border

In December 2023, Minister of State for External Affairs, V. Muraleedharan, quoted the US Customs and Border Protection data in parliament to answer a question on the number of illegal Indian immigrants encountered by US authorities on their border, which underlined that there is a steady rise in the numbers of Indians trying to illegally migrate to the US.As per the data shared by the minister, in 2022-23, 96,917 Indians tried to illegally migrate to the US, while 63,927 attempted to migrate in 2021-22, 30,662 in 2020-21, 1227 in 2019-20 and 8027 in 2018-19.

Biden, First Lady extend greetings on Mahavir Jayanti

President Joe Biden and First Lady, Jill Biden, extended greetings to people of Jain faith on Mahavir Jayanti.

In a post on X, Biden stated, “Jill and I wish a joyous Mahavir Jayanti to people of the Jain faith. Today, let us continue to recognize the values Mahavir Swami embodied and celebrate by spreading love, joy, and harmony.”

Mahavir Jayanti is celebrated to mark the birth anniversary of Lord Mahavir, who was given the name of ‘Vardhamana’ in his childhood. Lord Mahavir was born in 615 BC in a royal family.

As Vardhamana grew up, he renounced his princely status at the age of 30 and started on his spiritual journey in search of truth and enlightenment. He practiced austerities and meditated for 12 years in a forest to achieve ‘Kevala Jnana.’ He then propagated the Dharma known as Jainism.

The birth anniversary of Mahavira is celebrated with joy and excitement by the Jain community across the globe. Mahavira was the 24th Tirthankara of Jainism who spread peace and harmony through his teachings.

Mahavir Jayanti is celebrated with rituals like praying at Jain temples, processions, singing hymns adoring Lord Mahavira, fasting to purify the body and soul, charity, cultural programmes, and lectures by religious scholars and leaders.

The festival of Mahavir Jayanti is celebrated to highlight the significance of Jainism in the world, especially in India. The key teaching of ‘ahinsa parmo dharma’ or non-violence, is of great significance in the world today. (ANI)

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