More Immigrants Granted Citizenship in 2006; L.A. Raids Net 750 Illegals Ordered for Deportation

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), January 24, 2007 | Go to article overview

More Immigrants Granted Citizenship in 2006; L.A. Raids Net 750 Illegals Ordered for Deportation


Byline: Eric Pfeiffer, WASHINGTON TIMES

The number of immigrants in the United States seeking and obtaining citizenship increased significantly last year, according to numbers obtained from the Department of Homeland Security's Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services.

CIS said 721,268 immigrants, including 9,374 military personnel, became naturalized citizens last year. That is a 22 percent increase over the 2005 numbers, when 588,994 immigrants became naturalized citizens.

The number of people requesting citizenship forms from the CIS Web site also increased. Last year, 696,020 citizenship forms were downloaded, up 15 percent over the 594,260 forms downloaded in 2005.

"It's not unusual for us to see fluctuations in the numbers of people who apply for citizenship each year," said CIS spokeswoman Sharon Rummery, when asked whether the numbers could reflect congressional debate last year about illegal immigration.

Meanwhile, federal officials yesterday announced the sweep of more than 750 illegal aliens across the Los Angeles metropolitan area. The weeklong series of raids targeted those who had been deported previously for crimes or who had ignored deportation orders.

Federal officials called it one of the biggest such sweeps in U.S. history.

The Associated Press reported that 338 illegal aliens were apprehended in their homes and 423 were identified in local jails.

On Monday, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff met with Republican senators on Capitol Hill to discuss the arrests last month of 1,297 illegal workers at Swift & Co. …

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