NYTimes publishes NAC letter to the editor

The New York Times published a letter to the editor submitted by Eric Cohen in response to a recent Times article about green card holders who lack the motivation to become a US citizen. Eric Cohen is executive director of the Immigrant Legal Resource Center and leader of the New Americans Campaign, a project of the center.

His letter is below.

To the Editor:

Your article about the motivations of green card holders to become or not to become United States citizens doesn’t offer numbers on the economic dimension of naturalization. Several studies show that naturalization confers economic benefits both on the people who become citizens and on our communities and country as a whole.

For instance, a study published last December found that citizenship alone can boost individual earnings by 8 percent to 11 percent.  Increased naturalization would lead to a significant growth in gross domestic product.

ERIC COHEN
San Francisco, Aug. 26, 2013

The writer is executive director of the Immigrant Legal Resource Center and leader of the New Americans Campaign, a project of the center.

Posted on September 2, 2013

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  • 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.
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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

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