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Donald Trump, a new presidential candidate, made various controversial statements about Mexicans this week. Trump said things like – “Mexico is not our friend . . . FIGHT!” So how might his views impact, or rather invigorate, potential U.S. voters?

Consider this: There are about 13.3 million Legal Permanent Residents (LPR’s) living in the U.S. – and 8.8 million of them are eligible to become U.S. citizens.

A significant portion of LPR’s are Mexican or Central American. The Department of Homeland Security reports that in the year 2013, 779,929 LPR’s became citizens.

If you are a LPR, you may be eligible to naturalize in time for the upcoming elections. Goodin Abernathy LLP and the attorneys at Legalmente Hablando Indy regularly help clients with immigration cases. Our services include guiding Hispanic immigrants through the naturalization process where LPR’s become voting U.S. citizens.

If you are a Legal Permanent Resident, to qualify for naturalization, you must be at least 18 years old; and you must have been a resident for 5 years (3 years if you are married to a US citizen and meet other requirements). Usually, you must pass an English and civics exam, but there are some exceptions. You also have to be a person of good moral character, which includes considerations about criminal history, payments of child support, registration for selective service (males only), and other factors we can discuss. You also must have been physically present and had your primary residence in the US for certain periods of time prior to your application.

LPR’s are not required to speak perfect English to naturalize. Yes, you must pass a test given in English, but the questions are straight-forward. Plus, spelling and grammar do not count against you on the written portion. We can provide names of various service organizations that prepare you for the citizenship exam. The services teach the English necessary for the tests.

If you are a Mexican national and want to keep your Mexican citizenship, it is possible for you to retain both your Mexican citizenship and become a U.S. citizen. This is called dual citizenship. Mexico recognizes dual citizenship. Other Latin American countries have different rules regarding dual citizenship we can review those with you.

If you want your voice to be heard in U.S. elections, contact Goodin Abernathy LLP to discuss your options!