1. The current Congressional Republican majority seems to have hatred in their hearts for immigrants. No one knows what rights they will try to take away or how much harder or more expensive they will make naturalizing.
  2. Citizens can bring more family members to the U.S.
  3. Family members who want to come here will wait less if you are a citizen.
  4. A permanent resident can be deported, an American citizen cannot. The list of removable offenses is getting longer every year and the government’s ability to track people down has sharply improved.
  5. If a family member is in proceedings to be deported (aka removed), the government is less willing to deport them if their deportation harms (you as) a citizen instead of (if you are) just a permanent resident.
  6. No politician cares about you or your community if you don’t vote; that means, you hurt your community if you are eligible to become a voter but choose not to.
  7. A citizen can live abroad if there is a family emergency, a chance for a better job, or just because they want to retire elsewhere; a permanent resident can lose their status after just 9-12 months abroad in many cases.
  8. In time of emergency such as the current recession, if you need the support of the social welfare system a citizen can access a wide array of life saving services and benefits than can a permanent resident.

Scott McVarish, Lead Attorney at the Immigration Law Office of Los Angeles, is available for speaking engagements, interviews, seminars and trainings on this and many other immigration law topics. Providing pro bono (donated) legal services at such community education events are part of this law office’s “Giving Back” to the community philosophy.