Tens of thousands of immigrants are rushing to become US citizens for fear of being shipped out if GOP front-runner Donald Trump becomes president — and to try to keep him out of the Oval Office in the first place, immigration advocates and officials said.
Naturalization applications spiked by 14 percent in the last half of 2015 compared to the same period in 2014, according to the Associated Press.
“There is fear of a Trump presidency,” said Maria Ponce of iAmerica Action, a Washington-based immigrant rights group that is teaming up with other organizations to help those seeking citizenship as part of a national “Stand Up To Hate” campaign.
Trump has risen to the top of GOP polls, promising to build a wall to keep illegal immigrants from Mexico out, and calling for a prohibition against Muslims entering the United States.
The leading Republican presidential candidate has pledged to deport 11 million people living in the US illegally.
“Trump is dividing us as a country,” said Edgar Ospina, owner of a small flooring and kitchen remodeling company in south Florida, who only recently applied for citizenship despite moving to the US from Colombia in 1990.