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More Illinois and Indiana Immigrants Applying for Citizenship

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Immigrants rights organizers say more foreign-born residents of Illinois and Indiana are applying for citizenship.

Citizenship applications are up more than 20 percent from last year. That number counts applications submitted to the Chicago district between January and August.

Fred Tsao with the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights says that increase is a reaction to the US House bill that would have turned illegal immigrants into felons.

“Much of the same energy that went into the marches and rallies this past spring, seem to have translated into higher numbers of citizenship applications as well,” he says.

But Tsao worries that upcoming fee increases will make immigrants less likely to apply for citizenship in the future.

A spokesperson for US Citizenship and Immigration Services says the agency has to increase fees because it uses that money, rather than tax dollars, to process applications.

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