New Citizenship Initiative discussed at Ethnic Media Roundtable in New York

nyc-roundtableOn Sept. 8, the New Americans Campaign and New America Media hosted an ethnic media roundtable in New York City to discuss naturalization for the city’s nearly 915,000 citizenship-eligible lawful permanent residents (LPRs).

The discussion focused on NaturalizeNY, a new citizenship initiative launched in July by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. Like the New Americans Campaign, NaturalizeNY aims to maximize the number of LPRs who apply for citizenship. Officials says that despite the recent spike in citizenship applications, there are still hundreds of thousands of eligible immigrants across the state of New York that have not naturalized.

“There are over 642,000 individuals in New York City alone who are eligible for naturalization,” said Roberto Frugone, Northeast Regional Director of NALEO Educational Fund and the site leader for the New Americans Campaign in New York.

The New Americans Campaign provides free and low-cost services, including citizenship workshops and English language and civics classes. The roundtable underscored the accessibility of these services and local Campaign partners spoke. Newly naturalized citizens also shared details about the ease and affordability of the citizenship process in large part to Campaign partner assistance.

“It’s a lot easier than most people think,” said Frugone about the naturalization process, and we’re here to help.”
Also discussed was the economic benefits of having more citizens for all states across the country, including New York.

Other participants at the roundtable included Jorge Montalvo, Deputy Secretary of State of New York for Economic Opportunity and New York Councilmember Carlos Menchaca, the first Mexican-American elected to public office in New York City. They discussed the economic benefits of citizenship for states and the civic engagement opportunities for new Americans.

For more information on the roundtable and the benefits of citizenship see coverage by New America Media.

Posted on September 30, 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.

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