Trump taking charge already...Let's get them on the tax rolls Immigrants rush to become US citizens just in case Trump wins By David K. Li May 2, 2016 | 10:45am Modal Trigger Donald Trump campaigns in Fort Wayne, Indiana, on May 1. 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. “He’s so negative about immigrants. We’ve got to speak up.” There are almost 9 million green-card holders who are eligible to become US citizens and 4 million of them are Hispanic. “When immigrant communities feel they are under attack, they react with a large number of eligible immigrants becoming citizens and a large number of eligible citizens becoming voters,” said Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.), who mocked Trump’s slogan, suggesting it was really: “Make America Hate Again.” Legal permanent residents are eligible to become citizens if they’ve been in the country for five years, fill out a 21-page application form, submit to fingerprinting, pass a civics and English test and shell out $700 in fees. The immigrants who only recently started their citizenship application process are cutting it close if they want to vote in November’s presidential election. The processing for a citizenship application in New York City, for example, now takes eight months, a US Citizenship and Immigration Services customer service rep said on Monday. The deadline to register to vote for November’s general election is Oct. 14 in New York state. But if a prospective voter gains his or her citizenship a little after Oct. 14, then that new American has until Oct. 29 to get on Empire State voter rolls.