Many immigrants in the U.S. stop midway along the path of citizenship - The Washington Post: For 13 years, Rafael Cohen, an immigrant from Mexico, was eligible to become a citizen of the United States. But something held him back.
“I guess I felt I was maintaining more of a connection to my Mexican citizenship by remaining a green card holder than actually becoming a citizen,” said Cohen, 36, a musician who moved to the District when he was 9 and became a permanent resident in 1994.
Finally, the birth of his daughter last year persuaded him to apply. “Some of the immigration laws that are in place . . . there’s these weird situations where you can be deported as a green card holder,” he said.
As lawmakers wrangle over changes that could offer a path to citizenship to many of the estimated 11 million immigrants who are here illegally, not all immigrants who become eligible actually go through with naturalization. Often, the immigrant journey simply ends with permanent legal residency.