Bipartisan House Group Urges Citizenship Affordability, Campaign Weighs In

Winning for Citizenship!By Eric Cohen, Executive Director of the Immigrant Legal Resource Center

This week, a bipartisan group of legislators submitted a letter to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) addressing the proposed increase to agency fees.

The New Americans Campaign is very vocal about the need to keep citizenship affordable for the nearly 9 million lawful permanent residents (LPRs) who are eligible to become U.S. citizens right now. We know that fewer than 800,000 have naturalized in each of the past five years. Why? For many, the reason is cost.

It’s encouraging to see our members of Congress, who represent people of diverse political beliefs, faiths and ethnicity, come together in support of those who want to naturalize and those who’ve already chosen to become U.S. citizens.

Naturalization is beneficial for individuals, families and entire communities. Our network of legal service providers show LPRs that the naturalization process isn’t as expensive or as difficult as they think. And, our New Americans Campaign leaders continue to inform policymakers on the need to keep citizenship within reach for everyone. You can read these pieces here and here.

We cannot do this work alone. It’s up to our government to encourage those who are eligible to become citizens to take that critical next step. This letter is a step in the right direction.

Posted on July 8, 2016

Our Impact

  • The Campaign has completed over 3,700 naturalization workshops and clinics.
  • Over 250,000 citizenship applications completed since July 2011.

    Saved aspiring citizens and their families over $206million in legal and application fees.
  • Adopted scalable technology. MP3 players, Google Voice, and Virtual Private Network (VPN) services are being used to enhance naturalization service delivery.
  • Expanded New American Workforce (an effort to provide naturalization assistance within corporations) which has partnered with over 100 businesses across the nation, ranging from hotels in Miami to American Apparel in Los Angeles.
  • Deployed Citizenshipworks, an online tool, across the Campaign in multiple settings and languages. A newly redesigned platform guides applicants through through their citizenship application from start to finish and connects applicants to legal help at partnering non-profits.
  • Were instrumental in inspiring the US Citizenship and Immigration Service to support the Citizenship Corners initiative.
  • Created innovative partnerships with public libraries, school districts, universities, social service agencies, and employers, all of which yield not only greater numbers of applicants but also greater awareness of the naturalization process.
  • Deployed a large-scale volunteer recruitment program through an e-learning course.

    Reached diverse communities. Local partners consistently outreach and provide culturally competent and language-appropriate services.
Learn more from our
Impact Report.

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Who We're Helping

People come to America from all over the world with dreams of achieving a better life for themselves and their families and calling this great nation home. Eight million people who live, work, and pay taxes in this country are eligible for citizenship, yet only about eight percent of them naturalize each year. Find out more about these individuals and the barriers they face.Read More