New Study: 5 Million New Voters Could Be Decisive Factor in 2020 Elections

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[2020 Elections\Naturalized citizens]
According to the report, a majority of these new citizens have naturalized in response to the multiple attacks on immigrant and refugee communities.
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A new study says the 2020 Election may be decided by votes of naturalized citizens.

Over 5 million people are estimated to have naturalized in the United States since 2014, including 3.1 million who did so after Donald Trump’s election.

This places naturalized citizens among the fastest-growing electoral groups in recent U.S. history, according to a report released today by the National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA).

The report indicates that significant numbers of these newly naturalized voters are located in battleground states, such as Florida, Michigan, Arizona, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Nevada, Wisconsin, Texas, Colorado, Maine, Virginia, and New Mexico. These new voters could determine the outcome of this year’s election at all levels of government. The findings are based on U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) naturalizations data from 2014 to 2018, applications approved in the fiscal year 2019, and application estimates for 2020.

“This a multi-racial, multi-generational voting bloc that represents a powerful political force in the upcoming elections. At a time when anti-immigrant rhetoric is high and policies counter to immigrant interests are being implemented across the nation, New American Voters can raise their voices and sway the outcome of elections for the White House, Senate, governorships, and state legislatures. The first step to exercising their power is to register and to vote. NPNA, along with its partners and allies, are dedicated to encouraging New Americans to exercise the most influential democratic action a citizen can take, which is to vote,” said Nicole Melaku, NPNA’s new Executive Director, in a teleconference today.

In response to the findings in this report, National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA), an organization that represents 41 of the largest regional immigrant and refugee rights organizations in 37 states, will lead the New American Voters 2020 Campaign to help promote voting among the newly naturalized Americans during the next months. Through this campaign, NPNA will work with their member organizations as well as national allies like the Service Employees International Union, UnidosUS, Black Alliance for Just Immigration, America’s Voice, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Fair Immigration Reform Movement, Immigration Advocates Network, UNITE HERE, Church World Service, the League of Women Voters, and Vote Early Day. They will also work with mayors, cities, and media, as well as celebrities, cultural figures, and many more, getting out the message of the importance of voting in 2020. This effort will focus on digital and social media platforms, but will also include opportunities via traditional media and other civic engagement events.

According to the report, a majority of these new citizens have naturalized in response to the multiple attacks on immigrant and refugee communities. “Motivating and turning out infrequent voters in communities of color is key to how we win back power for working people,” said SEIU Executive Vice President Rocio Saenz. “As this report shows, new Latinx and Asian-Pacific Islander voters are going to be a key group within that community, with the power to change our democracy. We need to speak out side-by-side and fight to build a stronger America, and make our voices heard in one of the most important elections of our lifetime."

Other relevant findings of the study are:

A slight majority of the newly naturalized citizens are women (55.6 percent).

The number of newly naturalized citizens from 2014 to 2018 is larger than the 2016 margins of victory for the President in Florida, Michigan, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Nevada. Their numbers near the margin of victory in Arizona, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

In Florida, for example, the largest number of naturalized citizens from 2014 to 2018 were originally from Cuba and larger than the margin of victory during the 2016 Presidential election. The next largest groups of naturalized citizens for that state were originally from Haiti, Colombia, Jamaica, Venezuela, and Mexico, combined, representing a larger demographic than the 2016 margin of victory.

In Michigan, the number of citizens from Iraq who naturalized from 2014 to 2018 alone is larger than the 2016 Presidential margin of victory.

The number of newly naturalized citizens from 2014 to 2018 are larger than the margins of victory for Senate seats that are up for re-election in 2020 in North Carolina and Virginia. Their numbers near margins of victory in New Hampshire and Colorado. They can also sway the outcome of hotly contested elections in Arizona and Maine.

Roughly one-third of newly naturalized citizens (32.6 percent) were 18 to 34 years old when they naturalized, with 36.5 percent in the 35-49 age bracket, and 30.9 percent of 50+ individuals.

Almost 70 percent (68.44 percent) of citizens who naturalized from 2014 to 2018 are originally from Latin American and Asian and Pacific Island countries.

90 percent (88.24 percent) of these are from countries in Latin America, Asia and the Pacific Islands, Africa, the Middle East, and the Caribbean.

The National Partnership for New Americans is a national multiethnic, multiracial organization that represents 39 of the largest regional immigrant and refugee rights organizations in 35 states. Its members provide large-scale services for the communities, to leverage their collective power and expertise for a national strategy.

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