The White House Task Force on New Americans

Policy Recommendations by the Naturalization Working Group

The Naturalization Working Group is made up of national and local organizations, including national New Americans Campaign partners Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAAJ) Los Angeles, Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC), International Rescue Committee, the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund, and the National Immigration Forum, committed to helping legal permanent residents become American citizens. To complement the work of the NAC, the Naturalization Working Group strives to improve federal policies and practices related to naturalization and to educate legislators and policymakers about the need to address barriers to naturalization. The Naturalization Working Group’s expertise derives from its multiple member organizations that have significant experience in promoting naturalization and in assisting newcomers with the U.S citizenship process.

The Naturalization Working Group sent a letter with a set of policy recommendations to the White House Task Force on New Americans (Task Force) on February 9, 2015. The Task Force was established by President Barack Obama on November 21, 2014 to develop a coordinated federal strategy to better integrate new Americans into communities. The Task Force is an interagency effort to identify and support state and local efforts at integration that are working to consider how to expand and replicate successful models. The Task Force will engage with community, business and faith leaders, as well as state and local elected officials, and will help determine additional steps the U.S. can take to ensure its programs and policies are effectively serving new Americans.

Naturalization Working Group’s recommendations are aimed at promoting immigrant integration priorities the Naturalization Working Group would like to see enacted throughout the Federal government in the near future. Recommendations of the Naturalization Working Group include ideas for making naturalization more accessible and affordable and promoting naturalization across the U.S. Additional recommendations include establishing a White House Office on New Americans to ensure the coordination of federal agencies’ policies on immigrant integration, expanding current workforce training programs, improving education for English-language learners, and expanding opportunities for immigrant and refugee small business owners and entrepreneurs. See the full text of the letter here.

Implementing these recommendations will lead to the continuation of a welcoming society to all newcomers into the United States, and ensure that the federal government, working with state and local governments, will play a critical role in developing policies in the area of immigrant integration.

Posted on February 20, 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