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Cost of citizenship may be too much for Maryland immigrants

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The quest to become a citizen can be arduous and frustrating on many levels. It can also be a time-consuming and confusing process as immigration laws and regulations fluctuate. One aspect of citizenship that many Maryland immigrants may not give much thought to until they try to seek citizenship is the cost.

A poll in 2012 highlighted the cost as a factor in why many of those who were eligible to become citizens hadn't pursued it yet. It found that only 46 percent of Hispanic immigrants who could become citizens actually pursued citizenship. The other reason cited was the language barrier.

As immigration reform hangs in the balance, there is the possibility of high fines being attached to citizenship applications of those who are here illegally but seek to be legal. It is estimated that there are proposals on the table that would add $2,000 in fines along with the fee to pay for the application. While some immigrants strive to save the money, some groups and credit unions are exploring the possibility of providing loans specifically to help those who want to pursue citizenship.

The cost of citizenship has long been an obstacle for some. The addition of fines may, according to recent reports, price some people out of being able to successful apply for citizenship. Any concrete legislation pertaining to immigration is still in the planning stages. However, any immigrant in Maryland who wants to find out more about citizenship options or what they may be able to do about their status may benefit from staying up to date on any laws as they move forward.

Source: triblive.com, Immigration reform may hike cost of citizenship, No author, Feb. 3, 2014

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