FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 14, 2017
Anna Castro | firstname.lastname@example.org | 619.228.5332
Aspiring Americans Celebrate Flag Day By Attending Citizenship Workshops Throughout the U.S.
Historic application rates reported by USCIS in second quarter of 2017,
529,616 applications submitted this year to date
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today the National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA) and member organizations, Mi Familia Vota (MFV), and countless organizations are celebrating Flag Day by encouraging eligible legal permanent residents to seek out the best protection against deportation through over 130 application assistance events being held across the country throughout the summer.
Partner organizations are eager to celebrate the news that United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has reported a record-breaking number of aspiring Americans have submitted citizenship applications in 2017, making the second quarter of this year busier than 2016, a federal election year.
“It is unique and extraordinary to see naturalization applications increase after a national election, but the threats to immigrants and refugees in the U.S. today are also extraordinary,” said Tara Raghuveer, deputy director of the National Partnership for New Americans. “New Americans are stepping forward to take our seat at the table of democracy.”
The naturalization events are a part of a national Naturalize NOW Campaign to move 1,000,000 people to naturalize in fiscal year 2017. Across the country, 8.8 million people are eligible to naturalize but haven’t done so yet. 3.7 million of them could become citizens for free or for a reduced cost, using available fee waivers. Organizations leading the charge to strengthen our democracy include National Partnership for New Americans, Mi Familia Vota, Cities for Citizenship, National Council of La Raza (NCLR), iAmerica, Center for Popular Democracy, SEIU, Unite Here, UFCW, and UFW.
“The number of naturalization applications submitted speaks to how our community is staying civically engaged this year,” added Ben Monterroso, executive director of Mi Familia Vota. “Becoming a U.S. citizen allows immigrants to actively shape the future of the country they love and contribute to every day. We are halfway to the Naturalize NOW campaign goal of supporting one million people to apply for citizenship in the fiscal year and we are proud to be a part of this effort with organizations across the country at the moment when our communities need it most. ”
The Naturalize NOW campaigns features events led by community partners, mayor’s offices, members of congress, and labor unions who recognize that naturalization is a critical strategy to build power and secure protection for immigrant communities.
“The increase in citizenship applications this quarter tells a clear story—immigrants are tired of being criminalized and undervalued and are eager to take part in America’s democracy,” concluded Rocio Sáenz, SEIU International Executive Vice President and iAmerica Action President. “I am proud of the work local organizations continue to do in providing in-language events across the nation to support naturalization efforts. I have no doubt that our community will apply for nationalization in huge numbers in 2017 and play a key role in driving a political turnaround to change the direction of our country.”
A current list of events can be found here.