Celebrating Citizenship

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This month, thousands of lawful permanent residents (LPRs) throughout the country are taking the next step toward becoming United States citizens. They do so by attending free or low-cost events hosted by New Americans Campaign partners across more than 18 cities nationwide.

On Sept. 17, our country celebrates Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, commemorating the day in 1787 when the U.S. Constitutional Convention produced the document our nation looks to as a beacon for guidance on the toughest issues we face.

This past weekend, in honor of Citizenship Day, Campaign partners hosted more than 30 citizenship workshops to recognize and celebrate those individuals who aspire to become citizens of the U.S.

Citizenship Day provides us all with the opportunity to reflect on the importance of taking that critical next step to become U.S. citizens.

“Too many people find applying for citizenship to be too difficult and too expensive. That’s why we work year in and year out to help eligible permanent residents with the process,” said Eric Cohen, executive director of the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, the lead organization for the New Americans Campaign. “We have to ensure that citizenship is accessible to all who are eligible. Our government can do a lot to make that happen.”

This call to action was underscored by a new policy paper, “The Road to Naturalization: Addressing the Barriers to Citizenship,” released Friday by the National Immigration Forum and the New Americans Campaign.

The paper examines the current landscape of citizenship-eligible lawful permanent residents and the barriers to naturalization, and it provides policy recommendations to make the process more accessible and affordable to all eligible immigrants.

New Americans Campaign leadership underscored citizenship accessibility and affordability through an op-ed for Fox News Latino urging the government to reconsider its fee structure to stop pricing people out of citizenship.

At the same time, elected officials from across the country, including California Assembly member Rob Bonta, Virginia state legislator Mark Keam and Texas State Rep. Gene Wu, wrote about the personal importance of their U.S. citizenship.

Last but not least, please enjoy these snapshots from five citizenship workshops across Los Angeles last weekend, where 16 L.A. Campaign partners helped nearly 600 aspiring new Americans.

Staff and volunteers from Catholic Charities of Los Angeles help citizenship applicants with their N-400s Catholic Charities Campaign partners help aspiring new Americans take the next step toward citizenship
N-400 citizenship application assistance from Catholic Charities of Los Angeles Campaign partners at Centro CHA help citizenship applicants
Staff and volunteers from Campaign partners Centro CHA help applicants complete their workshop & talk next steps  Interfaith Refugee and Immigration Service (IRIS) and the International Rescue Committee (IRC) hosted a workshop in L.A.
IRIS and IRC staff and volunteers assist citizenship applicants  Applicants sign-in at the IRS and IRC citizenship workshop
img_4627Campaign partners from Asian Americans Advancing Justice – L.A. helping AAPI citizenship applicants img_4633Asian Americans Advancing Justice – L.A. helping AAPI citizenship applicants through the naturalization process 
Volunteers helped aspiring new Americans complete their citizenship applications  

Campaign partners help citizenship applicants in multiple languages

 

 

Posted on September 19, 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

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