6 Takeaways from the New American Voters in Georgia Report.
Over 96,000 foreign born Georgia residents became citizens between 2016 and 2020. Depending on voter turnout, that could tip close races one way or the other.
This week the National Partnership of New Americans (NPNA)- a coalition of 60 immigrant and refugee rights organizations across 40 states - released a report that looks at foreign born Georgia residents who became naturalized citizens between 2016 and 2020.
NPNA developed something called the New Americans Voters Impact Model - and it ranked Georgia number one in the country. The model examines factors including a state's margin of victory in the 2020 Presidential election, whether there are competitive senatorial or gubernatorial races, and the size of its foreign born population.
The report examines the demographics of New Americans in Georgia, their countries of origin, where they live, and what impact this potential voting bloc could have in the upcoming elections.
Here are 6 key takeaways from the report:
1) There are over 96,000 New Americans in Georgia. If newly naturalized citizens turn out to vote - that could pivot elections one way or the other (as we saw in the extremely close 2020 presidential race and 2021 Senate runoffs). 96,469 people became citizens between 2016 and 2020, to be exact.
2) Asian, women, and under 45: That's the demographic most represented in this group. Here's the breakdown: 39% of New Americans in Georgia from this time period are of Asian origin, 36% are from the Americas, and 15% are from Africa. More than 54% are women and 61% are under 45.
3) The highest concentration of newly naturalized citizens is in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell metro area. There are 541,996 total naturalized citizens in Georgia, and the vast majority of them, nearly 480,000, live in the metro Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell area, and are originally from Asia (204, 536), the Americas (160, 252), and Africa (71,191). Also notable - Gainesville has over 8,500 newly naturalized citizens, and more than 6,200 are from the Americas.
4)The top 5 countries of origin for those naturalized between 2016 and 2020 are: India (11,188), Mexico (9, 894), Vietnam (4,478), Jamaica (4, 433), and South Korea (4,202).
5)There could be even MORE New Americans in Georgia (and more new voters), but there's a backlog of citizenship applications. 23,533 citizenship applications are currently backlogged in the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offices in Atlanta. Nationwide, there's a backlog of about 700,000 applications. The processing delay is 18 months - significantly higher than the national average processing delay, which is 11 months.
6) Groups across the metro Atlanta area are working on getting out the vote amongst New Americans. The Georgia Muslim Voter Project, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Atlanta, the Latino Community Fund - Georgia, Nuestras Voces Georgia, and the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials (GALEO) are just a few of the organizations have been canvassing to increase voter registration and turnout in immigrant and refugee communities.
NPNA also released a national report earlier this summer that examines the demographics of newly naturalized citizens across the country, including in states like Arizona, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Florida. Read it here.