Local News


Citizenship applications on the rise since Trump's election

Posted at 5:33 PM, Jun 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-02 21:10:26-04

Applications from permanent residents to obtain citizenship have gone up since President Trump was elected.

According to numbers from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the first fiscal quarter of 2017 saw almost a 28% increase in applications from the first fiscal quarter of 2016.

Immigration attorneys here in the valley have noticed the same trend.  Martha Menendez says she's seen more people coming into office asking to apply for citizenship.

She says some of them have been residents for decades.  She says when she asks them why they made the decision now, many say they're concerned in the wake of President Trump taking office.

"Many of them are scared," Menendez says. "They feel like this is the only way to really protect themselves and their families."

She says concerns over travel and job security are influencing peoples' decisions to apply.

David Juncal is the process of applying for citizenship.  Originally from Ecuador, he now works in the restaurant business on the Strip after first coming to New York decades ago.

He says gaining his citizenship will open more job opportunities by allowing him to work for the state of Nevada.

He says given President Trump's recent travel ban and comments on immigration, he's concerned that by the time he would have to renew his green card, rules could change.

"I'm not saying he's a bad president, but rules many change and you never know."

According to the most recent numbers from Homeland Security, there are around 130,000 permanent residents living in Nevada, and 90,000 of them are eligible for citizenship.