Over 35 citizenship events have been organized across the country throughout this month, to assist eligible immigrants in becoming U.S. Citizens
For Immediate Release
September 8, 2022
Mynellies Negrón | (703) 585-6727 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Washington – In celebration of Citizenship Day on Sept 17, and to uplift naturalization initiatives around the country, the National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA), a national leader in immigration legal services, and Cities & Counties for Citizenship (CC4C) are proclaiming September to be Citizenship Month.
Throughout the month of September, over 35 events across 20 states will encourage eligible lawful permanent residents to become citizens via workshops, outreach events, and communications efforts as part of the Naturalize 2 Million By 2022 campaign, a partnership among cities and counties as well as over 61 immigrant and refugee advocacy organizations. For example, Chicago will be funding a billboard promoting naturalization, Seattle will host a Citizenship Day naturalization clinic, and El Paso County, Texas, will host a naturalization ceremony.
“Our network has supported thousands of people to become citizens. This month, we’re celebrating new Americans who have taken the step to become U.S citizens and encouraging those who have yet to do so. For newly naturalized citizens, voting is a way to make their voices heard and celebrate their citizenship in our multiethnic, multicultural democracy,” said Nicole Melaku, NPNA executive director. “September’s proclamation as Citizenship Month reflects a growing national movement toward increased access to U.S. citizenship both from immigration legal services providers, immigrant and refugee advocates, and cities and counties dedicated to supporting naturalization.”
This year, the CC4C national initiative has grown to its largest reach ever, with 104 partners aimed at increasing citizenship among eligible U.S. permanent residents and encouraging cities and counties across the country to invest in citizenship programs. CC4C also promotes the expansion of naturalization and financial empowerment programs nationwide, boosting economic opportunity for our immigrants and communities.
As mayor, it is a great privilege to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Seattle’s oldest citizenship program on Citizenship Day,” says Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell. “Since its inception, the New Citizen Program has assisted approximately 11,000 immigrants in becoming American citizens, with that number continuing to grow every year. Thanks to the work of Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs (OIRA) director Hamdi Mohamed and her staff, the department is marking this milestone by partnering with community-based organizations to offer citizenship clinics where green card holders can access free help to apply for naturalization, as well as launching a request for proposal process to continue innovating our services. And we acknowledge the work of Cities and Counties for Citizenship as they grow the nationwide movement of municipalities dedicated to welcoming our newest Americans. As One Seattle, we continue our tradition of welcoming immigrants and helping them integrate into the vibrant culture of our city.”
There are currently over 9 million U.S. permanent residents in America who are eligible for citizenship – 52% of whom remain low-income. Their naturalization would provide access to better paying jobs (up to an 11% increase in their earnings), academic scholarships, and myriad other benefits.
“In early 2020, I had the opportunity to begin my process of becoming a naturalized citizen. However, the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted my application process time. After waiting for over a year, I finally became a naturalized citizen in May 2021,” said Laura Campos, CASA member. “I call on other newly naturalized citizens like myself to vote during this year’s general election in Georgia and future elections to come. Those who cannot vote depend on us to make a positive change!”
“We were motivated to become U.S. citizens due to the difficulties we were having traveling outside the country to visit family members. Becoming a citizen has allowed us to go see our grandchild who was hospitalized when he was born, said Francisca and Carlos, legal services clients at the Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama (HICA). “ We felt helpless when we could not go to Canada to see him due to our green cards expiring. When you are eligible to become a citizen, do it.”
See the National Listing of Naturalization Events from the CC4C network as well as NPNA’s Family Protection Network of immigration legal services providers for a full list of events throughout the month of September.
About National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA)The National Partnership for New Americans is a national multiethnic, multiracial organization that represents 61 of the largest regional immigrant and refugee rights organizations in 40 states. Its members provide large-scale services for the communities, to leverage their collective power and expertise for a national strategy.
About Cities and Counties for Citizenship
Cities and Counties for Citizenship (CC4C) is a growing national initiative of 104 cities and counties aimed at increasing citizenship among eligible U.S. permanent residents and encouraging localities across the country to promote and expand citizenship programs. It is anchored by the National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA) with Executive Leadership from the New York City Mayor Eric Adams, Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, and Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell. To learn more or join Cities and Counties for Citizenship, visit http://www.cc4citizenship.com.