Due to the Obama Administration’s effort encouraging immigrants to become U.S. citizens to “fully participate in civic life” and a desire to vote in the 2016 presidential election, the number of naturalization applications have increased substantially in recent months, according to the Migration Policy Institute.

According to a recent MPI report, during the first two quarters of fiscal year 2016 (October 2015 to March 2016) U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) received 440,000 applications for naturalization. The application level represented a 21 percent increase over the 365,000 applications submitted during the same timeframe in FY 2015.

“This increase can partly be attributed to the citizenship awareness campaign launched by the White House Task Force on New Americans, as well as a desire to vote in the 2016 national elections,” MPI’s report reads.

In recent years, Mexico has been the top country of origin for immigrants seeking U.S. citizenship. As MPI details, in FY 2014, 15 percent of the 653,416 immigrants who naturalized were Mexican (95,889). India ((37,854), at six percent, was the second-most country of origin, followed by the Philippines (34,591) with five percent, China (30,284) also five percent, as well as Cuba (24,092) and the Dominican Republic (23,775), both with four percent.

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