Ahmad Khan Rahami, 28, the suspect in a series of bombings in New Jersey and New York over the weekend, was a 28-year-old Afghan immigrant who eventually became a U.S. citizen. His family owned a fried chicken restaurant called "First American Fried Chicken" and he studied criminal justice at a New Jersey college.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump seemed to lament Monday the rights Rahami will enjoy as a U.S. citizen facing criminal charges.
"Now we will give him amazing hospitalization. He will be taken care of by some of the best doctors in the world. He will be given a fully modern and updated hospital room. And he'll probably even have room service, knowing the way our country is," Trump said. "And on top of all that, he will be represented by an outstanding lawyer. His case will go through the various court systems for years and, in the end, people will forget and his punishment will not be what it once would have been. What a sad situation. We must have speedy, but fair trails and we must deliver a just and very harsh punishment to these people."
So what exactly does it mean to be a naturalized citizen?
Nearly half of all immigrants in the U.S. are naturalized citizens, or roughly 20 million immigrants. There were more than 653,000 immigrants naturalized in 2014 alone. Naturalized citizens can sponsor immediate family for immigration, vote and avoid deportation. They cannot serve as president.
"Naturalization, an important milestone in immigrant integration, extends to foreign nationals the same benefits, rights, and responsibilities that native-born citizens have, including the right to vote," according to the Migration Policy Institute.
There are certain requirements to become a naturalized citizen: you must be a permanent resident for an extended period of time, you must know basic English and have some knowledge of U.S. history and government, and you have to pass a background check. Immigrants are sometimes denied citizenship if they lack allegiance to the United States or can't pass an American civics test.
In 2014, 15 percent of all immigrants who were naturalized were from Mexico, while 6 percent were from India and 5 percent were from the Philippines. China, Cuba, Vietnam and Colombia also produce many naturalized citizens.
Naturalized citizens tend to be educated and middle class. In 2014, 34 percent of naturalized citizens over the age of 25 had a bachelor’s degree, compared with 30 percent of native born Americans who graduate from college. Male naturalized citizens had median earnings of about $50,343 in 2014.
Kamani, who allegedly planted a powerful explosive in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan that injured 29 people Saturday night, was born in Afghanistan in 1988 and may have traveled to Pakistan in recent years. He was caught on surveillance video wheeling a suitcase carrying the homemade bombs, USA Today reported. He also faces five counts of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer after he shot at police officers after they tracked him down Monday in a New Jersey neighborhood.