MIAMI (AP) — More than an estimated 8.5 million immigrants living in the U.S. were eligible for citizenship in 2012. Yet fewer than 800,000 took the leap, according to the latest Department of Homeland Security numbers.
If statistics hold, nearly 60 percent of the rest eventually will — a percentage that has been slowly rising.
Still, there are many holdouts. Immigrants give a variety of explanations as to why. The most common reasons include the cost, a lack of English, a desire to return to their home country, and the potential loss of benefits from their native land. Still others say they simply don't see the need.
Last year, Mexicans made up the largest single group of new citizens, at about 13 percent.