KALW Interview: Melissa Rodgers on the impact of the New Americans Campaign

In an exclusive interview with KALW, our very own Melissa Rodgers, Project Director for the New Americans Campaign, sat down with Hana Baba for a conversation on citizenship.

Melissa highlights the importance of green-card holders on becoming new Americans, and explains how our nation-wide initiative is driving the conversation of citizenship across the country.


“RODGERS: We have helped over 100,000 people apply for citizenship. By helping people with fee waivers, we’ve saved communities over $89 million. I think it’s really important for people who are living in this country to have the right to fully belong, and that’s what citizenship gives you. It’s a right of belonging that can’t be taken away.

Listen to full interview click here.

Posted on August 5, 2014

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