Toolkits by The New Americans Campaign
by Marion Coddou, Ph.D., Stanford University
Partnerships with local government can generate significant increases in the number of eligible lawful permanent residents (LPRs) who apply to become U.S. citizens. This case study of the New Americans Campaign’s unique partnership with human services agencies in three San Francisco Bay Area counties provides a roadmap for similar partnerships nationwide.
Serving a Diversity of Applicants
Like American society at large, America’s LPRs are diverse. They come from over a hundred different countries; they live in rural, suburban, and urban locations; they have a wide range of literacy and education levels; and they speak hundreds of languages. NAC partners navigate applicants’ experiences and proficiencies as they provide naturalization services across the country. The best practices in this toolkit help partners serve a broad range of applicants while not sacrificing efficiency.
Maintaining Momentum through Collaboration: Tips for NAC Partners Serving Naturalization and DACA/DAPA Applicants
Many partners in the New Americans Campaign who provide naturalization assistance to lawful permanent residents will expand their services to individuals eligible for the administrative relief programs announced by President Obama in 2014, including the expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and the new Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program. Naturalization application assistance is a critical element of immigrant integration and the core focus of the NAC. This document contains best practices for NAC partners to successfully maintain their naturalization work while also assisting DACA/DAPA clients. These specific recommendations come from NAC partners who have found success in their current or previous work with DACA and other immigration benefits.
Volunteers are a critical component of efficient naturalization service delivery, especially in group processing workshops, which the New Americans Campaign promotes. This toolkit provides recommendations for organizations on how to recruit, train, retain, and effectively use volunteers at group processing workshops.
Pre-screening and Red Flags
The New Americans Campaign provides a significant percentage of naturalization services through group processing workshops – events serving 10-600+ lawful permanent residents (LPRs) within a single day. This group approach is critical to the Campaign’s goal of significantly increasing the number of LPRs who complete their naturalization applications. It also serves as a foundation for other immigration service delivery, including future opportunities arising out of Comprehensive Immigration Reform. This toolkit provides recommendations for organizations on how to screen LPRs before a workshop for their eligibility to naturalize, as well as how to review the suitability of their case for assistance in a workshop setting.
Characteristics of Successful Site Leaders
The New Americans Campaign’s unique structure uses site leaders to lead the campaign in each community. This toolkit illuminates the characteristics of a successful site leader, so that collaborations can appropriately choose which organization, and which person within that organization, should serve as the local site leader.