LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico nonprofit has seen a spike this year in the number of immigrants looking to become U.S. citizens.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports staff with Catholic Charities of Southern New Mexico, which offers legal assistance to immigrants, says the Las Cruces-based organization helped 14 immigrants seek naturalization in the first half of 2017, and assisted 29 immigrants so far through the second half.

Applications for U.S. citizenship this year are expected to outpace last year, which was the busiest in a decade.

Imelda Maynard, attorney for Catholic Charities of Southern New Mexico, says the organization has been hosting more informational fairs about citizenship than it previously did.

Maynard says immigrants with authorization to be in the United States are worried about losing their legal status and being deported.

___

Information from: Las Cruces Sun-News, http://www.lcsun-news.com