The North Texas Daily (Denton, Tex.), Vol. 67, No. 122, Ed. 1 Tuesday, September 4, 1984 Page: 12 of 12
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Page 12—The North Texas Daily
Tuesday, September 4, 1984
Project promotes citizenship
Hispanics participate in naturalization classes
Photo by RUSTY HALL
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SAN ANTONIO (AP)—A project aimed
at promoting American citizenship among
Hispanics has drawn hundreds to naturaliza-
tion classes, officials say.
"Never before have so many people been
in citizenship classes in San Antonio," said
Mariana Scuros. director of the naturaliza-
tion project for the Mexican American Legal
Defense and Education Fund.
San Antonio is 52 percent Hispanic and
much of South Texas is heavily Mexican-
MALDEF launched the citizenship proj-
ect in March, and already 577 people have
enrolled in classes and 425 have applied
for citizenship. The enrollment marks a 41X1
percent increase over last year, Scuros said.
MALDEF will start a similar project in
San Francisco in October, she said.
The project was applauded by San Anto-
nio Mayor Henry Cisneros, who said His-
panics have shunned citizenship for vari-
"They felt they might be disloyal to the
mother Mexico or the choice of the heart,"
"Now there are very strong reasons for
people to take part in the citizenship drive.
"What we are seeing here is an unprece-
dented opportunity for Hispanics to partici-
pate in the political process. Never before
have we had such opportunities to elect
minority people." Cisneros said.
Albert Bustamante, unopposed for the 23rd
District congressional seat, said he remem-
bers when most Hispanics rejected the idea
of citizenship because they planned to return
to Mexico or because they feared approach-
ing immigration authorities.
Bustamante, a Democrat, said he would
work to increase the number of naturaliza-
tion personnel at South Texas immigration
and naturalization offices, where backlogs
are cropping up because of the citizenship
On the average, it takes a year for citi-
zenship applicants to get interviews in San
Antonio. In Laredo and Corpus Christi, the
wait is even longer.
The Immigration and Naturalization Ser-
vice has added four examiners in its San
Antonio office and the service has beefed
up its staffs nationwide because of the
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Eades, Trent. The North Texas Daily (Denton, Tex.), Vol. 67, No. 122, Ed. 1 Tuesday, September 4, 1984, newspaper, September 4, 1984; Denton, TX. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth332673/m1/12/: accessed April 6, 2020), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.