Exploring New Ways and Avenues for Encouraging Naturalization

Earlier this summer, the White House convened a summit that brought together leaders in the field of immigrant integration from across the country. One workshop focused on naturalization, and that session, co-facilitated by the National Partnership for New Americans, a NAC partner, provided an opportunity for NAC partners and others to use their expertise and explore ways to encourage naturalization.

Among the suggestions:

• Allow Americorps volunteers to support citizenship education and naturalization application assistance. This might be done by expanding the topics included in the Economic Opportunity focus area of Americorps.

• Reduce the fee for naturalization. The naturalization application fee is a barrier for some who would otherwise apply for citizenship.

• Provide incentives to small businesses. This would increase business willingness to help and encourage their employees to become citizens. One such incentive, an annual White House award for businesses making exemplary efforts to help employees integrate, was included in a version of the immigration reform bill.

• Target low-literate immigrants eligible for naturalization with messages reinforcing the idea that they can succeed in learning what they are required to learn for citizenship. Making the process less threatening to this group will augment citizenship applications.

Our partners and service providers have spent decades working on helping lawful permanent residents become citizens. These suggestions are a reflection of the work we’ve done already at workshops around the country, and the work we hope to do in the coming years.

Posted on August 28, 2014

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