Immigration has become an important part of election conversations and newly naturalized voters in states where races could decide the balance of power in Congress are being encouraged to head out the polls and have their voices heard.
Community leaders are hitting the pavement and knocking on doors to inform new citizens of their rights and why their vote matters. One of these leaders is a DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipient, Fatima Flores-Lagunas. She is a political director for CHIRLA, the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights. Although she cannot vote, she wants to make sure people who can exercise their right.
“I can still motivate people that can, to get out to vote to also stand up for their community,” Flores-Lagunas told CNN.
According to the National Partnership for New Americans, naturalized citizens are now 1 in 10 eligible voters in the U.S. and there are more than 5 million new multicultural, multiracial, and multigenerational voters since 2016. They have been a part efforts to track the number of new voters in key states such as Florida, Arizona, Nevada, and Pennsylvania.
“Issues like the economy, health, abortion, school safety, and other of the high issues for the population in general are some of the issues that are propelling new American voters to the polls in November,” Diego Iniguez-Lopez from the National Partnership for New Americans told CNN.
The growing demographic of naturalized citizens has the potential to become a deciding voting bloc.
The CEO of the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials, Jerry Gonzalez encourages Latinos to go out and vote, particularly this year as the governor and U.S. Senate races are very close.“Many times when we go to doors, we’re the first contact inviting Latino voters to come into the political process and to have their voices heard and respected in voting,” Gonzalez told CNN.
Studies show that new American citizens from minority groups including Latinos have a higher rate of political participation than their native-born counterparts.