New Americans Campaign Partners Gather in Dallas for Annual Conference on Citizenship

2015 Conference Statistics

A snapshot of the 2015 conference

Last week, 180 New Americans Campaign partners from across the country convened in Dallas for the annual United for Citizenship Practitioners Conference. The conference, held from Sept. 9 to 12, provided local partners the opportunity to share best practices, network with other practitioners and volunteer at a large citizenship workshop.

The conference kicked-off on Wednesday at the local Univision affiliate where partners volunteered to answer calls at a phone bank and spoke to aspiring new Americans about the upcoming citizenship workshop in Dallas.

The following day, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director, León Rodríguez, joined practitioners at the conference by attending a Naturalization Working Group meeting and providing a keynote address. Over 9 million lawful permanent residents (LPRs) are eligible for citizenship and Rodríguez outlined the steps USCIS will take to promote citizenship, including the Citizenship Public Awareness Initiative, potential online reminders about citizenship eligibility, possible electronic filing and using credit cards to process the naturalization fee.

“There’s no way to lose with this group,” said Rodríguez on Thursday. “The amount of energy, the amount of passion, the amount of knowledge, the amount of ability and how right the cause that you’re fighting for is means that it is inevitable that the goal of getting those 9 million LPRs to make that personal choice to naturalize… we’re going to get there. They’re going to make that choice.”

More information about Rodríguez at the conference can be read online.

Campaign partners spent the remainder of the conference sharing best practices and participating in learning activities that ranged in topics from outreach to lawful permanent residents and efficiency planning, to the use of technology and harnessing the power of partnerships and collaboration.

An example of the interactive learning at the conference is the video below, which shows interviews conducted by partners about the citizenship process.

“This conference is a vital opportunity for our broad network of partners that work at both the local and national level to connect and learn from each other – from our funders, to our practitioners, to other key players, like USCIS,” said Melissa Rodgers, director of programs at the Immigrant Legal Resource Center and the director of the New Americans Campaign. “It reminds us of the power of having our diverse network of organizations and people working together across the U.S., building a field of expertise and creating a community committed to citizenship.”

The conference culminated in a large workshop on Saturday at the Santa Clara Community Center where Dallas partners Catholic Charities of Dallas, Proyecto Inmigrante and the International Rescue Committee provided free citizenship services to over 300 aspiring new Americans. Campaign partners from around the country volunteered their time to register applicants and assist with the various components of the citizenship application.

Applicants at the workshop received free one-on-one guidance from lawyers and BIA accredited representatives

Applicants at the workshop received free one-on-one guidance from lawyers and BIA accredited representatives
Hundreds of LPRs arrived at the workshop for free help with their citizenship applications

Hundreds of LPRs arrived at the workshop for free help with their citizenship applications
Volunteers helped aspiring new Americans complete their citizenship applications

Volunteers helped aspiring new Americans complete their citizenship applications
Applicants were able to use Citizenshipworks to complete their applications at Saturday's workshop



Applicants were able to use Citizenshipworks to complete their applications at Saturday’s workshop

 

 

Posted on September 14, 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