Dallas Takes Center Stage in U.S. Citizenship Campaign

Speakers from the International Rescue Committee, Catholic Charities of Dallas and Proyecto Inmigrante with Rep. Marc Veasey and newly naturalized citizens

Speakers from the International Rescue Committee, Catholic Charities of Dallas and Proyecto Inmigrante with Rep. Marc Veasey and newly naturalized citizens

On Aug. 18, the New Americans Campaign and New America Media hosted an ethnic media roundtable in Dallas to discuss the barriers that prevent immigrants from becoming citizens, what ethnic media can do to address those hurdles, the role of the citizenship campaign and the opportunities and benefits available to new U.S. citizens.

Representatives from local partners Catholic Charities of Dallas, Proyecto Inmigrante and the International Rescue Committee spoke at the roundtable and welcomed U.S. Rep. Marc Veasey (D-Texas) as he addressed more than 30 attendees and representatives from nine media outlets.

Rep. Veasey called for more lawful permanent residents in Texas to take the step to become American citizens. Not only will they will have the right to vote, petition for their family members and get government protections when they travel abroad, but they also will be eligible to apply for high-paying federal jobs, which are now booming in Texas.

“There are more than 100,000 defense jobs that offer six-figure salaries in Texas,” Veasey said. “We need newly naturalized citizens to fill these jobs.”

Sandy Close, Executive Director of New America Media, speaks with journalists at the start of the Dallas roundtable

Sandy Close, Executive Director of New America Media, speaks with journalists at the start of the Dallas roundtable

In recent years, Dallas/Fort Worth — dubbed the Silicon Prairie — has been listed among the top 10 U.S. cities for defense jobs and IT positions for security-cleared professionals. Many of these jobs require skilled professionals who speak languages other than English.

And because they are federal jobs, only U.S. citizens can apply.

Veasey says the only way for lawful permanent residents “to have a profound impact on policy” is to naturalize and elect leaders who represent their communities.

This local roundtable comes as Dallas readies itself to be the host of the New Americans Campaign’s United for Citizenship conference, where more than 150 representatives from organizations across the country will discuss next steps in helping more immigrants become citizens. This national conference culminates in a free citizenship workshop Sept. 12 to help eligible immigrants through the naturalization process.

For more on the roundtable, see coverage on New America Media.

Posted on August 24, 2015

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