FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 20, 2022
Mynellies Negrón | (703) 585-6727 | firstname.lastname@example.org
NPNA and Advocates Encourage Eligible Seattle Residents to Naturalize
SEATTLE – National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA) and other immigration advocates held a press conference today in Seattle to promote the “Naturalize 2 Million by 2022!” campaign as part of a nationwide effort to encourage two million eligible permanent residents to obtain their citizenship by the end of 2022. The campaign offers educational materials and other resources to help eligible permanent residents complete their citizenship test successfully. The campaign tour has traveled to multiple cities, including Las Vegas, Los Angeles, McAllen, Austin, San Antonio, Milwaukee, New York City, as well as Montgomery County, MD.
This naturalization effort builds momentum for the “New American Voters 2022” campaign kicking off in the second quarter of the year to encourage millions of newly naturalized citizens to vote in the upcoming elections.
Over nine million permanent residents are potentially eligible for citizenship nationwide. And while Washington state has over 190,000 permanent residents potentially eligible to naturalize, more than 113,000 of them live in the Seattle metropolitan area. Newly naturalized citizens are a powerful voting bloc that could significantly impact the outcome of the 2022 midterm elections.
“Our campaign is part of a nationwide effort from cities, counties, and over 50 immigrant advocacy organizations that organize workshops and outreach events to help naturalize eligible permanent residents,” Nicole Melaku, executive director for the National Partnership for New Americans. “Our goal is to encourage eligible immigrant communities to take the final step in their immigration journey and naturalize in time to vote for the upcoming 2022 midterm elections. We want to ensure that immigrants can fully enjoy the economic, social, and civic benefits of citizenship and feel fully included in the communities.”
“Naturalization is central to immigrant integration and one of the many steps our grassroots leaders take towards building power. Power in voting, advocating for the issues they care most about, and most importantly becoming civically engaged”. Roxana Norouzi, Executive Director, OneAmerica There are 263,000 legal permanent residents eligible to naturalize in Washington state in the coming years, if all eligible permanent residents in Washington naturalize they could generate 867 million in additional earnings for the state’s economy. One America continues to demand that all local, county and state governments support and fund naturalization programs.
“Those of us who are here today know the importance that citizenship plays in a family’s life., Citizenship facilitates access to employment and education. I know firsthand how citizenship changes the lives of refugees and immigrants.” – Director Hamdi Mohamed, City of Seattle Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs
“A country that still grapples with a women’s right to choose, a country that struggles with a war against voter suppression which is a threat to democracy everywhere, and in recent years this twisted conversation about immigrants and refugees, that is why this work is so important. This is wake up work. The city has realized the great benefits we receive as a country, base doin the ourcading opower, the work ethic, the culture the food they rhythm, everything that a rich vibrant migrant community bring t o this country to make it great Mayor Bruce Harrell, City of Seattle
We are better when we open hands, hearts and welcome people that what make us a rich community”
“The experience of having to learn a new culture while building a new life is often made harder by the very difficult ways folks have to navigate through our immigration system in the United States. And the cost of citizenship is prohibiting many who lack the resources, lack the legal knowledge, or access to that knowledge to get them through the process,” said Councilwoman Tammy J. Morales. “Access to citizenship comes with an increased chance of employment, with the right to vote and to travel freely abroad, and importantly, security from deportation.”
The campaign advocates are uplifting the crucial protections and opportunities that naturalization provides. These benefits include protection from deportation, automatic citizenship when resident children of a naturalized parent turn 18, petitioning for family members to migrate, higher wages and greater economic opportunities, and voting in national, state, and local elections. As part of the week of action around Tax Day, advocates are highlighting that fee waivers, partial or full, are available for those who can’t afford the $725 fee for the citizenship application if they can prove that they receive a means-tested benefit such as SNAP, Medicaid, SSI or TANF; they have low-income; or have extraordinary expenses creating a financial hardship that make they unable to pay.
They are also highlighting legal or financial support for naturalization applicants provided by local or state governments or local organizations.