New Americans Campaign Hits a Home Run with the Detroit Tigers

A PSA about the New Americans Campaign aired at Comerica Park before the Tigers home game

A PSA about the New Americans Campaign aired at Comerica Park before the Tigers home game

On Saturday, the New Americans Campaign partnered with the Detroit Tigers at the team’s 10th annual ¡Fiesta Tigres! Celebration.

This annual celebration recognizes past and current Latino Tigers players and their contributions to baseball. The New Americans Campaign distributed information about citizenship at the event, and a public service announcement about the campaign aired before the evening game against the Boston Red Sox.

“I had tears in my eyes when I saw the PSA on the huge screen at Comerica Park,” said Wojciech Zolnowski, executive director of the International Institute of Metropolitan Detroit and the site lead for the New Americans Campaign in Detroit. “I realized that I am part of something big and I realized how far we’ve come in just four years.”

Wojciech Zolnowski shares information about citizenship

Wojciech Zolnowski shares information about citizenship

The New Americans Campaign celebrated its fourth anniversary last month. Detroit campaign partners and their network of volunteers distributed information about U.S. citizenship to those interested at the ballpark this weekend, handing out 104 fliers to individuals and families who expressed interest in learning more about citizenship and the naturalization process.

And, even with more than 40,000 people in attendance, volunteers reconnected with a client who received help from the New Americans Campaign in completing her citizenship application at a workshop earlier this year.

Campaign partners reconnected with the family of a client who was assisted at a workshop earlier this year

Campaign partners reconnected with the family of a client who was assisted at a workshop earlier this year

“You never know when you’re going to run into people you helped,” said Zolnowski. “It really speaks to the impact of the New Americans Campaign on lawful permanent residents in our communities.”

Saturday’s event also included cultural celebrations and the honoring of current and former Tigers players, including Placido Polanco, who played with the team from 2005 to 2009. Polanco was born in the Dominican Republic and became a naturalized U.S. citizen on the field at Comerica Park on July 9, 2008.

“We hope this event is just one of many that occurs in partnership with the Tigers,” Zolnowski said. “It was really special to witness the impact of the New Americans Campaign and U.S. citizenship at this celebration.”

Former Tiger player Placido Polanco, who became a U.S. citizen in 2008,  was honored at the celebration

Former Tiger player Placido Polanco, who became a U.S. citizen in 2008, was honored at the celebration

¡Fiesta Tigres! Celebration on the field at Comerica Park in Detroit

¡Fiesta Tigres! Celebration on the field at Comerica Park in Detroit

Posted on August 11, 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