Newly naturalized citizens in Arizona could sway November midterm elections

Sep 6, 2022, 4:45 AM
(Photo by Carolyn Van Houten/Getty Images)...
(Photo by Carolyn Van Houten/Getty Images)
(Photo by Carolyn Van Houten/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Arizona is one of the top states where newly naturalized citizens could sway the November midterm elections, according to a recent report.

Nearly 64,000 immigrants became U.S. citizens in Arizona between 2016 and 2020, reflecting a number six times greater than President Job Biden’s estimated 10,500-vote margin of victory in Arizona four years ago.

Because of that, Arizona ranks as the second state most likely to influence the outcome of the November elections, according to the National Partnership for New Americans and several other groups.

“We will do everything possible to make sure this new group of voters has access to participate fully in our democracy in this and every future election,” Carolina Rodriguez-Greer, state director of Mi Familia Vota Arizona said.

“In fact, many of our team members are immigrants themselves and feel eager to help others become naturalized and vote for elected officials that will create positive change.”

Mi Familia Vota Arizona is one of the local groups registering people to vote in Arizona. Its goal is to register about 40,000 new voters for the upcoming midterm elections.

Of the number of immigrants who became U.S. citizens between 2016 and 2020, most were born in Mexico and were under the age of 45.

Arisbeth Valenzuela is a canvasser lead with Mi Familia Vota Arizona and one of the newly naturalized citizens in Arizona. She became a U.S. citizen in 2019 and voted for the first time in the 2020 presidential election.

“You feel like the sense of accomplishment, because you’re using your voice,” Valenzuela told KTAR News 92.3 FM describing what it was like to vote for the first time. “This is one of the forms that you get to enact change.”

Valenzuela said she encourages others, especially those who recently became U.S. citizens to register and vote in the November midterm elections.

“I think it’s so important for us to kind of recognize that we as people have a voice,” she said.

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Newly naturalized citizens in Arizona could sway November midterm elections