Naturalization push ahead of November election

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) -- Hundreds of volunteers are helping qualified immigrants become U.S. citizens in time to register to vote in the November presidential elections.

The "Become a Citizen Now!" program seeks to help 5,000 immigrants file applications for naturalization in Massachusetts, New York, California, Florida, Maryland, Oregon, Colorado, Washington, Tennessee, Illinois, Wisconsin and New Hampshire. The National Partnership for New Americans' initiative started in March and has already helped 500 applicants.

A separate program by the National Council of La Raza, a Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization, seeks to register 180,000 Latinos voters. The group has already registered more than 10,000 voters in Florida, Nevada, Colorado, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, California, Texas, North Carolina and online.

Democrats have failed to enact immigration changes as Republicans adopted harsh rhetoric on illegal immigration.

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