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By NAN Staff Writer

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Thurs. June 8, 2023: Compared to the overall foreign-born population, Caribbean immigrants had a higher rate of naturalization as U.S. citizens, with 63 percent and 52 percent, respectively according to the Migration Policy Center.

Among the major national-origin groups from the region, immigrants from Trinidad and Tobago (74 percent) and Jamaica (69 percent) had the highest naturalization rates. Although the Dominican Republic had the lowest rate at 57 percent, it was still higher than the overall immigrant population.

Hector Morejon, orginally from Cuba, and others become American citizens during a U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services naturalization ceremony at the Hialeah Field Office on January 12, 2018 in Hialeah, Florida. 150 people from different countries around the world took part in the Oath of Allegiance. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

In terms of arrival patterns, Caribbean immigrants had similar trends to the overall foreign-born population. Seventy-one percent of individuals from Trinidad and Tobago arrived before 2000, compared to 53 percent of the total Caribbean immigrant population. Approximately 28-29 percent of immigrants from the Dominican Republic and Cuba were recent arrivals, entering the United States in 2010 or later.

In 2020, about 10 percent (72,900) of the 707,400 individuals who obtained lawful permanent resident (LPR) status were from the Caribbean. Approximately 80 percent of them received a green card as immediate relatives of U.S. citizens or through family-sponsored preferences.

Among new green-card holders from the Caribbean, a higher proportion were admitted as refugees or asylees (17 percent) compared to the overall LPR population (9 percent). This is primarily due to the large number of Cuban nationals who adjusted their status under the fast-track process established by the Cuban Adjustment Act.

Around 74 percent of Cubans who obtained a green card in 2020 initially entered the United States through a humanitarian channel. On the other hand, Caribbean immigrants were less likely to become green-card holders through employment pathways (2 percent) compared to all new LPRs (21 percent).

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