Report cover featuring crowd of people sitting down and holding small United States flags
Immigrant Inclusion & Racial Justice

February 2013

Prepared by Manuel Pastor, Jared Sanchez, Rhonda Ortiz, and Justin Scoggins

Commissioned by the National Partnership for New Americans with funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Please note: reports dated earlier than June 2020 were published under our previous names: the USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) or the USC Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII).

Released by CSII and the Partnership for New Americans, Nurturing Naturalization: Could Lowering the Fee Help? explored the obstacles to citizenship for aspiring Americans by focusing on the fees associated with the naturalization process. Through original analysis of new data on naturalization from the Office of Immigration Statistics and the American Community Survey, the report indicated that fee increases can have a significant impact on both the volume and the composition of who naturalizes.

This finding is novel because some have suggested that earlier studies indicate that the demand for immigration services is not very price sensitive. However, a closer examination of that earlier work suggested that while this may be true of all immigrant services, naturalization seems to be responsive to price.

Previous research has demonstrated that naturalization can improve incomes and enhance civic participation. For a nation of immigrants, encouraging naturalization and full participation in our civic and economic life would seem to be a goal on which many Americans can agree, so the report asserted that the fee structure should be changed to reduce the financial barriers to integrating fully into our society, economy, and democracy.

Read our other publications by research area

    Immigrant Integration & Racial Justice

    Our work on immigrant integration and racial justice brings together three emphases: scholarship that draws on academic theory and rigorous research, data that provides information structured to highlight the process of immigrant integration over time, and engagement that seeks to create new dialogues with government, community organizers, business and civic leaders, immigrants and the voting public to advance immigrant integration and racial equity.

    Economic Inclusion & Climate Equity

    In the area of economic inclusion, we at ERI advance academic theory and practical applications linking economic growth, environmental quality, and civic health with bridging of racial and other gaps; produce accessible and actionable data and analysis through the data tools; and establish research partnerships to deepen and advance the dialogue, planning, and actions around racial equity, environmental justice, and the built environment.

    Social Movements & Governing Power

    ERI’s work in the area of governing power includes: conducting cross-disciplinary studies of today’s social movements, supporting learning and strategizing efforts to advance dialogues among organizers, funders, intermediaries, evaluators, and academics, and developing research-based social change frameworks and tools to inform — and be informed by — real-world, real-time efforts towards a vision of deep change.

    Publications Directory

    In 2020, the USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) and the USC Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII) merged to form the USC Equity Research Institute (ERI).

    The full list of publications published under our previous and current names can be found in our publications directory.

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