The report is part of NPNA’s nationwide #NewAmericanVoters campaign, in collaboration with the Latin American Coalition, North Carolina Asian Americans Together, SEIU and Alianza Americas to engage NC newly naturalized voters.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
August 16, 2022
Mynellies Negrón | (202) 993-7844 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Charlotte, NC — North Carolina is home to 70,579 newly naturalized U.S. citizens that are potentially eligible to vote in the critical 2022 midterms, a number nearly equal to the state’s margin of victory of 74,481 votes in the 2020 presidential elections, according to new data from the National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA). This voting bloc, called New American Voters, is multiracial, multigenerational, geographically diverse, and majority female.
This data comes from a new report published by NPNA, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and the U.S. Immigration Policy Center at the University of California San Diego. The findings are based on U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) data on naturalization from 2016 to 2020, as well as naturalization applications that the agency approved in 2021. Topline state and national data from the report include:
- Newly naturalized citizens in North Carolina are racially and ethnically diverse, with 40 percent from Asia, 36 percent from the Americas, 14 percent from the African continent, and approximately 10 percent from Europe.
- Approximately 64 percent of all persons who naturalized from 2016 to 2020 were under the age of 45 years old and around 55 percent are women.
- North Carolina ranks 6th in the nation in the New American Voters Impact Model, which was created by the National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA) to showcase the potential of this critical voting bloc to influence the outcome of midterm elections.
“With crucial state races and issues to be decided at the polls this coming November, electoral participation is fundamental. The 2022 midterms could see an estimated 5.19 million New American Voters — including more than 70,000 in North Carolina — who have naturalized in recent years, representing a powerful political force to be reckoned with. But it’s not monolithic. They’ll be drawn to the polls by a variety of issues, their votes informed by diverse political ideologies, experiences, and backgrounds. Ensuring that these voters both register and vote is critical to ensuring a participatory, representative democracy,” said Nicole Melaku, Executive Director of NPNA.
Understanding this electoral power, local organizations are engaging to motivate and mobilize this voting bloc. Chavi Khanna Koneru, Executive Director of North Carolina Asian Americans Together (NCAAT), a local partner collaborating with the New American Voters campaign, explained that “the NPNA report underscores the potential for New American Voters to influence North Carolina’s midterm elections in key state and federal races. The largest share of newly naturalized citizens are from Asia, which contributed to Asian Americans becoming the fastest growing ethnic group in the state. NCAAT and others are dedicated to empowering our new citizens—new North Carolinians—to participate in our vibrant democracy this November.”
Voter suppression and other systemic barriers keep many eligible New American Voters from exercising that right. Growing backlogs at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) have created delays in processing citizenship applications: There are more than 14,500 pending citizenship applications in USCIS’ offices in North Carolina, with processing delays of up to 15 months in Raleigh and 16.5 months in Charlotte. Access issues related to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and language barriers have prevented many eligible voters from registering.
In response, Latin American Coalition, North Carolina Asian Americans Together, SEIU, and Alianza Americas, join NPNA as part of 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.
“We are honored to be part of the NPNA network as together we create a pathway for New Americans to be full participants of a diverse and inclusive North Carolina. This report zooms into North Carolina’s growing naturalized population and zooms out to where we stand in the national landscape. There’s a huge opportunity to engage these new citizens to become voters and at LAC, we are committed to doing this in North Carolina.” said Jose Hernandez-Paris, Executive Director of the Latin American Coalition.
The New American Voters campaign aims to Naturalize #2MillionBy2022 is a partnership among the country’s leading immigrant and refugee advocacy and service organizations, cities and counties and national advocacy organizations and unions. We are uniting to educate, empower and encourage eligible folks to take the final step on their immigration journey; become U.S. citizens just in time to vote in this year’s midterm election on November 8, 2022
About the Report’s Contributors & Endorsers
La Coalición (Latin American Coalition) – is a community of Hispanics, immigrants, and allies who promote the full and equal participation of all people in the civic, economic, and cultural life of North Carolina through integration, education, celebration, and advocacy. https://www.latinamericancoalition.org/
North Carolina Asian Americans Together (NCAAT) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization committed to supporting equity and justice for all by fostering community among Asian Americans and allies in North Carolina through civic engagement, leadership development, grassroots mobilization, and political participation. Learn more at www.ncaatogether.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. 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/
Alianza Americas is the premier transnational advocacy network of Latin American migrant-led organizations working in the United States, across the Americas, and globally to create an inclusive, equitable and sustainable way of life for communities across North, Central and South America. Alianza’s digital organizing powerhouse is Presente.org.