Hong Inh, 103 year old Cambodian immigrant, becomes a US citizen. She came to America in 2011. She was one of over 10,000 immigrants who became US Citizens on August 22, 2017 in Los Angeles.


It’s widely reported and known that immigrant and minority communities are playing an increasingly important role in the election process and never more so than in recent years. With Trump in the White House and putting an end to DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), immigrants feel they are under attack by the country which traditionally threw its’ arms open to them. The GOP has long struggled to win the immigrant segment of the populist vote and appears poised for more challenges as Trump advances his campaign pledges to build a wall, ban Muslim immigrants from certain countries and deport Dreamers. Thus, the role played by New Americans, those naturalized in the US but born elsewhere, will play an increasingly important role in future elections. The large surge in 2016 by immigrants obtaining citizenship appears to be a harbinger of things to come. The LA Times, CNN, The Washington Post and others reported that courts worked overtime to accommodate the large influx of citizenship applications in 2016 and the most recent figures show a 21% increase over that year.

In fact, in ONE DAY alone, August 22, 2017, over 10,200 immigrants from more than 120 countries became US Citizens just in Los Angeles. The top countries represented were 1) Mexico; 2) Philippines; 3) China; 4) El Salvador 5) Korea; 6) Vietnam; 7) India; 8) Iran; 9) Guatemala; and 10) Canada

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After receiving their citizenship, the “New Americans” exit the LA Convention Center and are immediately solicited to join the Republican or Democratic party. Democrats openly court the “New Americans” with an anti-Trump message. Donald Trump has called for a ban on Muslim immigration and is in favor of building a wall along the US/Mexico border. Can the GOP overcome this to register naturalized citizens to their party? Immigrants have registered pre-dominately as Democrats in urban areas such as Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco.

A Portion of This Project Was Published by PRI (Public Radio International) in October 2016. To View, Please Visit http://bit.ly/2e7MYMp.


All images available in color. Please contact me with your licensing requests.

All photos registered with US Copyright Office. ©2016 & ©2017 Todd Bigelow



To License These Images, Please Contact Todd Bigelow Photography at Legal[at]ToddBigelowPhotography[dot]com

All Images Are Registered With The United States Copyright Office. ©Todd Bigelow

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