The surge in immigrant voters against Republican Presidential candidate, Donald Trump, which was predicted by advocates, has failed to materialize. The advocates were hoping to recruit a million immigrants with green cards to gain citizenship in time to vote in the upcoming US Presidential election.
Around 600,000 naturalization applications have been filed since December, when the effort was announced by immigrant advocates, until June, which is the informal deadline for US citizenship prior to the day of the election. Although the figure represents a rise of over nine percent from the same time-frame in the previous Presidential election in 2012, it falls short of the million hoped for by advocates, or of other surges in citizenship.
Hispanic rights groups claim that they are now attempting to sign up those who are already citizens but have never registered to vote. These efforts are hampered by a lack of funding. Advocates had been hoping that Hispanics would be eager to gain citizenship and would register to vote to punish Trump for his uncompromising attitude toward illegal immigration. They insist that they still expect a major turnout in November.
A US Citizenship and Immigration Services backlog has not helped matters, with almost 525,000 applications still waiting to be approved by the end of June. However, University of Maryland political scientist, James G. Gimpel, says that Trump is unlikely to fare worse with Hispanics than the 2102 Republican candidate, Mitt Romney, and may even do better.