ICYMI: Let’s Step Up Our Game for Citizenship

In November, President Obama unveiled his executive actions on immigration, which included a naturalization media campaign to encourage citizenship applicants. This campaign will be carried out by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in 2015 and is expected to provide information about U.S. citizenship and naturalization in the 10 states that 75 percent of all lawful permanent residents call home: Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Texas, Virginia and Washington.

Recently, the New Americans Campaign submitted a letter to USCIS outlining its experience-based ideas for the development and implementation of the media campaign.

On Monday, The Hill published an op-ed by New Americans Campaign leadership: Eric Cohen, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, Stewart Kwoh, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles, Jeanne Atkinson, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. and Arturo Vargas, NALEO Educational Fund.

This op-ed calls on the Obama administration and Congress to increase their engagement in helping people become U.S. citizens, citing the need for a unified, consistent effort on all levels of government to put better integration policies in place. This media campaign should be part of a comprehensive immigrant integration strategy that addresses substantial challenges to achieving higher naturalization rates.

Read the full op-ed here.

Posted on April 3, 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