Rising Interest in U.S. Citizenship Discussed at Houston Ethnic Media Roundtable

houston roundtable

Last month, the New Americans Campaign and New America Media hosted an ethnic media roundtable in Houston to discuss naturalization for the city’s nearly 350,000 citizenship-eligible lawful permanent residents.

Applications for naturalization spiked in the last year, a common trend during presidential election years. Local Campaign partners are helping applicants navigate the process, which is much easier than people think.

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 from Bonding Against Adversity, Boat People SOS and New American Workforce spoke. Newly naturalized citizens also spoke about their experience with the citizenship process.

While exercising their right to vote is an important factor prompting some LPRs to apply for citizenship, the benefits of becoming a U.S. citizen extend past the November elections.

Another speaker at the roundtable was Texas State Representative Gene Wu, who indicated that 40 percent of the people in his district are foreign-born.

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

Posted on May 16, 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.

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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