In the News: Working to counteract N-400 application changes with action

In a well thought-out and expansive opinion piece published in the National Journal’s NextAmerica project, Eric Cohen of the ILRC laid out the drawbacks of the upcoming N-400 application change and talked about how the New Americans Campaign is ready to act.

Drawing on his 25 years of experience and on his vantage point as lead for the New Americans Campaign, Eric highlighted the many benefits of citizenship for new Americans and the reasons why our collaborative continues to innovate and create new pathways for the nation’s 8.8 million legal permanent residents wishing to become citizens:

The new N-400 form will add upward of 10 pages of questions to the application. And it could make the citizenship process more time-consuming for the 8.8 million permanent residents eligible for citizenship nationwide.

If higher hurdles turn people away, that would be a net loss for everyone.

On the whole, naturalized citizens fare better economically than their noncitizen counterparts. They earn between 50 percent and 70 percent more than noncitizens, have higher employment rates, and are half as likely to live below the poverty line.

A new citizen will see an average boost in individual earnings of 8 to 11 percent, directly tied to more job preparation, better matching between employers and employees, and a greater ability to switch jobs.

All of this translates to macroeconomic benefits as well, with the U.S. economy standing to grow by $21 billion to $45 billion over 10 years—depending on how aggressively we prioritize naturalization.

The New Americans Campaign has laid a strong foundation for encouraging citizenship now and in the future—no matter how the application evolves. Partnering with several dozen legal-service providers, faith-based organizations, businesses, foundations, and community leaders, the New Americans Campaign already has provided free or low-cost high-quality citizenship services to more than 80,000 people—saving them more than $67 million in legal fees and waivers in the process.

It’s a good read – check out the full piece at the National Journal.


February 4, 2014
Related: New Americans Campaign to Counteract Tougher Path to Citizenship

Posted on January 15, 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