WASHINGTON — Natives from Armenia are among the fastest growing groups of naturalized citizens in Southern California, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
Last Thursday, March 24, more than 4000 immigrants who live in Southern California were sworn in as U.S Citizens. Their most common countries of origin according to the Homeland Security Department, are Mexico, the Philippines, China, Iran, El Salvador and Armenia.
Homeland Security spokeswoman Marian Gitomer said Armenians are regularly in the top 10 at the naturalization ceremonies in Los Angeles.
The number of Armenians becoming Americans grew substantially in the last few years. According to the Department of Homeland Security’s Yearbook of Immigration Statistics, an average of about 1,600 Armenians a year become naturalized citizens from 2000 to 2004. From 2005 to 2009, the average number of people naturalized more than doubled to 4,000, with a peak of 6,317 Armenians naturalized in 2006.
Among the more than 3,400 Armenians who became citizens in 2009, 1,000 were refugees or people seeking political asylum.