Caribbean Immigrants on Fast Track toward U.S. Citizenship

As U.S. immigration reform stalls because of Republicans' refusal to compromise, the onslaught of foreign nationals continues to stream in, seeking green cards and eventually citizenship.


The Caribbean region makes up 15% of immigrants in the U.S., who have attained green cards or naturalization. The four top Caribbean countries, who achieved green card or naturalization status, include Dominican Republic (DR), Cuba, Haiti, and Jamaica. The total number of immigrants from all UN countries, who naturalized in 2012 exceeded 100,000.

As U.S. naturalized citizens, they gain the right to work at any job, including government posts through the electoral process, the one exclusion being the U.S. presidency. They also have voting rights at all levels of the government electoral process.

Among the Caribbean big four: Haiti, the DR, Jamaica, and Cuba here are some naturalization statistics:

Haitian immigrants, who became naturalized citizens from 2010 to 2012 numbered 23,490, while 26,100 became naturalized between 2010 to 2011. Seventy thousand Dominicans from 2010 to 2012 earned U.S. citizenship. More than 15,000 Jamaican immigrants became naturalized in 2012, up 3,500 since 2010. According to Department of Homeland Security figures, 42,000 graduated to citizenship status. Cuban immigrants, who became naturalized in 2012 numbered 31,000. The grand total for naturalized Cubans from 2010 to 2012 was 66,000.

Haiti has passed Jamaica as a huge contributor of Caribbean immigrants. In 2002, U.S. naturalized Haitians amounted to 12,293, but that number shot up to 22,818 out of a million immigrants in 2012.

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