Texas Tribune by Julian Aguilar
If current trends continue, the federal government will approve nearly 18,000 more applications for citizenship this year than it did in 2010, according to data recently posted by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The agency is also likely to deny about 3,300 fewer.
During the 2010 fiscal year, the government approved about 619,000 of what it calls the N-400, its application for naturalization. That total includes about 9,800 military applications. Authorities denied about 57,000, including 750 military applications. This year, the government is on pace to approve about 637,000 and deny about 53,700.
The trends at Texas field offices follow those seen nationwide. In 2010, the field offices in Dallas, El Paso, Harlingen, Houston and San Antonio collectively approved about 48,900 applications and denied 4,610. Through April 2011 — seven months of the current fiscal year — the Texas offices have approved about 30,000 and denied about 2,500.
The data also shows that field offices in Texas border cities have far fewer applicants than those in the middle of the state. So far this year, the El Paso and Harlingen field offices have received about 2,300 and 1,970 applications, respectively. That’s compared to 11,550 in Dallas, about 12,900 in Houston and 5,700 in San Antonio.
The approvals and denials both fall far short of 2009 figures, however, when the agency approved about 742,000 applications and denied about 110,000.