U.S. Conference of Mayors Urges Citizenship

Mayors pass a resolution urging permanent residents to take the next step

SAN FRANCISCO — Half a dozen U.S. cities are taking the next step in helping their legal permanent residents take the next step towards citizenship.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Conference of Mayors passed a resolution at its 82nd Annual Meeting in Dallas urging the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to make policy changes in order to allow more eligible green-card holders to become citizens.

“It is in the interest of the federal government and especially USCIS to reduce fees for citizenship applicants and to minimize barriers to naturalization by offering alternatives like a sliding-scale income based approach or family unit fee,” the resolution states in part.

The resolution was co-sponsored by New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Portland Mayor Charlie Hales and St. Louis Mayor Francis G. Slay, and was introduced by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

“The contribution of immigrants have long strengthened our communities and our economy,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “America’s Mayors call on USCIS to open the floodgates of opportunity by paving the way for more lawful permanent residents to become U.S. citizens.”

“An investment in immigrant integration pays dividends not just for immigrants and their families, but for our nation as a whole,” said Joshua Hoyt, Executive Director of the National Partnership for New Americans.

“Study after study shows that the benefits of citizenship extend beyond the individual and have impact on the local economy as a whole” said Eric Cohen, Executive Director of the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, the lead organization for the New Americans Campaign. “The U.S. Conference of Mayors is recognizing that the future of American cities is tied to welcoming immigrants.”

Posted on June 27, 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