"Naturalization is the process by which U.S. citizenship is conferred upon foreign citizens or nationals after fulfilling the requirements established by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). After naturalization, foreign-born citizens enjoy nearly all the same benefits, rights and responsibilities that the Constitution gives to native-born U.S. citizens, including the right to vote. This Office of Immigration Statistics Annual Flow Report presents information on the number and characteristics of foreign nationals aged 18 years and over who were naturalized during 2008. In this report, years refer to fiscal years (October 1 to September 30). Data were obtained from administrative records of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) of the Department of Homeland Security. These records consist of information from applications for naturalization. In 2008, a record number of persons (1,046,539) were naturalized in the United States (see Table 1 and Figure 1). The leading countries of birth of new citizens were Mexico (231,815), India (65,971), the Philippines (58,792), the People's Republic of China (40,017), and Cuba (39,871). The largest number of persons naturalizing lived in California (297,909), Florida (128,328), and New York (90,572)."
United States Department of Homeland Security: http://www.dhs.gov/