The Mexican ambassador to the United States urged Mexican immigrants to apply for U.S. citizenship in an interview Monday with the Mexican state news agency, Notimex.
Ambassador Carlos Sada Solana said that obtaining citizenship was the best protection mechanism against deportation ahead of Donald Trump’s incoming administration.
Sada urged Mexican with permanent legal residents status in the United States to obtain U.S. citizenship so they can “integrate to their new society, so that they are empowered and also have possibilities to travel freely in both sides of the two countries.”
“It is one of the very important protection actions, that of becoming citizens because then they are no longer subject to deportation proceedings and on the other hand they do not lose Mexican nationality,” Sada said.
According to the Department of Homeland Security, there are more than 2.6 million Mexicans who are permanent legal residents of the United States who have not obtained US citizenship.
A report by the Institute for Latino Studies shows that Mexican immigrants have a lower naturalization rate than almost all other nationalities in the United States.
This, despite the fact that Mexicans account for the greatest number of citizenship applications than any other country.
Mexican immigrants reportedly do not want to become citizens in part because they don’t consider it important, they’re not interested, or they don’t have the necessary information to go through the process.
However, that could soon change with Trump’s incoming administration.
Trump has vowed to deport up to 3 million illegal immigrants once he assumes office on Jan. 20, but has not yet defined the criteria for which offenses would be grounds for deportation.
“People that are criminal and have criminal records,” would be the main focus of deportation, Trump told 60 Minutes.
Mexican ambassador Sada said that Mexico is preparing for all possible scenarios in advance of Trump’s administration.
“We are boosting the information areas, extending the hours, if necessary to hire more lawyers who know the immigration issue and support us in other organizations and institutions that provide legal advice,” Sada said.