FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 18th, 2022
Mynellies Negrón | (202) 993-7844 | email@example.com
New Mexico-based organizations join the national, non-partisan New American Voters Campaign to ensure that everyone eligible to cast a vote is able to do so this November
Albuquerque, NM — New Mexico is home to a little over 15,000 newly naturalized U.S. citizens that are eligible to vote in critical 2022 midterms, a number that can significantly impact the results of the upcoming midterm elections. This new data comes from the New Mexico State New American Voters report, released today by Somos Un Pueblo Unido, El Centro de Igualdad y Derechos, NM Comunidades en Acción y de Fé (CAFé), National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA), the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and the U.S. Immigration Policy Center (USIPC) at the University of California San Diego.
This bloc of potential voters — called New American Voters — is multiracial, multigenerational, geographically diverse, and majority female. They hold varying ideologies and viewpoints, and will be motivated by a variety of issues this November.
“The NM New American Voters report demonstrates our communities have power in the ballot box that we can harness to ensure all our communities in New Mexico have the opportunity to thrive ” said Fabiola Landeros, a newly naturalized citizen and organizer at El CENTRO Poder y Acción. Landeros continued, “I am proud to be part of a powerful rising block of naturalized citizens in New Mexico. El CENTRO will be knocking on tens of thousands of doors in Bernalillo County because when we turn out to vote, we have the power to shape our electoral system in New Mexico.”
Voter suppression and other systemic barriers keep many eligible New American Voters from exercising their right to register and vote. Backlogs at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) have created delays in processing citizenship applications: the national average processing delay is around eleven months, but approximately 80 percent of applications processed in USCIS’ Albuquerque office takes up to 14 months. This means that immigrants who are eligible for citizenship and who would have otherwise naturalized and have had time to register to vote in this year’s elections may not be able to do so given the naturalization application backlog. Other issues related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and language barriers may also have prevented eligible voters from registering.
In response, Somos Un Pueblo Unido, El Centro de Igualdad y Derechos, NM Comunidades en Acción y de Fé (CAFé) are joining the New American Voters 2022 campaign, a non-partisan nationwide effort coordinated by the National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA) to encourage newly naturalized citizens to register and vote.
“The 2022 midterms could see an estimated 5.19 million New American Voters — including more than 15,064 in New Mexico — who have naturalized in recent years. This voting bloc represents a powerful political force, that will be drawn to the polls by a variety of issues that are affecting them and where they expect significant changes to happen for a better quality of life. We are five weeks away from one of the most urgent and transcendental midterm elections, and ensuring that these voters both register and vote is critical for our communities,” said Nicole Melaku, Executive Director of NPNA. “We’re proud to team with partners across New Mexico and around the country that are taking this electoral task at heart, to encourage civic engagement and promote a democracy that protects, represents, and works for all of us.”
“The new citizens in New Mexico are ready to go out to vote in these elections! We notice the energy to vote from our new citizens in our citizenship program. Their desire to be taken into account along with their families in the political decisions of our communities, especially in rural areas” said Zulema Chavero, a community organizer coordinating Citizenship Now! in Santa Fe, NM.
“This Report demonstrates new citizens do go out to vote, and on many occasions we can be the margin of victory” said Mario Vazquez, Somos Acción member from Santa Fe. “I will vote for myself, my family and my community”
State data comes from a new national report published by NPNA, SEIU and USIPC. The findings are based on U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) data on naturalization from Fiscal Year 2016 to 2020 Topline state and national data from the report include:
- New Mexico added an estimated 15,064 newly naturalized citizens from 2016 through 2020.
- Of the total number of persons who naturalized in New Mexico from 2016 to 2020, approximately 72 percent are from the Americas, approximately 18 percent are from Asia, approximately 5 percent are from Europe, and approximately 3 percent are from the African continent.
- Most of the newly naturalized citizens in New Mexico who naturalized from 2016 to 2020 are originally from Mexico, at about 63 percent.
- Approximately 51 percent of the new American voters are under 45 years old, and around 58 percent are women.
- Newly naturalized citizens largely reside in the Albuquerque, Las Cruces, and Santa Fe metropolitan areas (61,271 in total), with large concentrations of naturalized citizens in other, more rural areas of New Mexico (15,659 in total).
Contributors & Endorsers:
Somos Un Pueblo Unido works to build a community that does not discriminate against people based on their national origin, that institutes humane migration policies, and that protects the human rights of everyone irrespective of where they are born or what documents they carry. Learn More at www.somosunpueblounido.org
El CENTRO is a grassroots, immigrants’ rights and workers’ justice organization based in Central New Mexico that works with Latino immigrant communities and allies to defend, strengthen, and advance the rights of our community. www.elcentronm.org
NM Comunidades en Acción y de Fé (CAFé) Organizes with the people of Southern New Mexico to create better conditions for workers, families, and the future leaders of New Mexico. Their faith based organizing is about people, and CAFé aspires to create a culture of support that empowers New Mexicans to act on their own behalf towards a better quality of life. Learn more at organizenm.org
The National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA) is a national multiethnic, multiracial organization that represents 60 of the largest regional immigrant and refugee rights organizations in 40 states. Its members provide large-scale services for the communities, to leverage their collective power and expertise for a national strategy. Learn more at partnershipfornewamericans.org.
The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) unites 2 million diverse members in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. SEIU members working in the healthcare industry, in the public sector and in property services believe in the power of joining together on the job to win higher wages and benefits and to create better communities while fighting for a more just society and an economy that works for all of us, not just corporations and the wealthy. Learn more at www.seiu.org
The U.S. Immigration Policy Center (USIPC) at UC San Diego conducts and supports rigorous social science research to advance understanding of the foundations and consequences of U.S. immigration policy. Immigration has played an integral role in American history and is sure to feature prominently in America’s future. But what should the immigration policies of our nation of immigrants be? The USIPC brings together leading academics, policy analysts, immigrant rights leaders, and policymakers across all levels of government to conceptualize, debate, and design a new U.S. immigration policy agenda that meets the demands of the 21st century. Learn more at https://usipc.ucsd.edu/