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The National Partnership for New Americans

Naturalization Will Bring Billions into Cities’ Economies

On Citizenship Day 2014, NPNA, the Center for Popular Democracy, and the Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII) released a report titled Citizenship: A Wise Investment for Cities on the civic, economic, and social benefits of naturalization in American cities. The report coincides with events in the Cities of New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles announcing their mayors’ collaboration on a national immigrant naturalization effort called Cities for Citizenship. Read more!

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NPNA has deep reach into diverse immigrant communities in eleven states across the country. Check out our interactive map to see where Partners are located and what they’re working on.


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Michael Howard Saul, Push for Immigrants to Become Citizens, Wall St. Journal, September 17, 2014

Chicago Mayor Emanuel, Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti, New York City Mayor de Blasio and Citi Launch Cities for Citizenship, MarketWatch, September 17, 2014

Jennifer G. Hickey, Big-city Mayors, Seeing Gain, Push Citizenship for Immigrants, Newsmax, September 17, 2014

John Byrne, Chicago part of U.S. citizenship push for legal immigrants, Chicago Tribune, September 17, 2014

Cities push for citizenship, confirmation hearing for new ICE chief, immigration and tight Senate races, 89.3 KPCC, September 17, 2014

Jamie Reyes, Ciudades invierten para que más inmigrantes se hagan ciudadanos, Vivelo Hoy, September 17, 2014

Cristian DeMarco, Ayuda para la ciudadanía en Nueva York, Telemundo, September 17, 2014

Chicago Mayor Emanuel, Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti, New York City Mayor de Blasio and Citi Launch Cities for Citizenship, Park Forest ENews, September 17, 2014

Ivan Pereira, De Blasio, Chicago, L.A. mayors form initiative to help immigrants, AM New York, September 17, 2014

Michael Oleaga, Citizenship and Immigration Services to Naturalize Over 27,000 New Citizens, Latin Post, September 17, 2014

Local community organizer takes over National Partnership for New Americans, Sun Times, December 18,2013

Más de 600 líderes se reúnen para hablar de inmigración y piden parar las deportaciones, Univision, November 18, 2013

Miami's Top Five: What you need to know Monday(AP), Miami Herald, November 18, 2013

Henry Cisneros cree que habrá reforma migratoria en 2014, La Opinion, November 18, 2013

Conferencia reunirá a 600 líderes para definir integración de inmigrantes, EFE, November 8, 2013

Hundreds of immigrant advocates gather in Miami(AP), Bloomberg Businessweek, November 18, 2013

Rahm Emmanuel and Luis V. Gutierrez, Priced Out of Citizenship, The New York Times, April 3, 2013

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    CASA de Maryland

    Maryland has been one of the top ten leading recipients of Legal Permanent Residents (LPRs) in the country for the past ten years. Of the approximately 210,000 LPRs in Maryland, an estimated 120,000 are now eligible to naturalize. Many eligible LPRs never attempt to naturalize because they are either unaware that they are eligible or do not know how to begin the process. LPRs that do begin the process are often hindered by limited English proficiency, the high cost of applying, legal bars or the lack of sufficient support to navigate the process.

    While the barriers to naturalization are significant, they are also surmountable. The New Americans Citizenship Project of Maryland addresses the unique reasons why LPRs are not naturalizing through a comprehensive and coordinated citizenship promotion program.

    The New Americans Citizenship Project of Maryland involves three key components:

    1. Direct Immigrant Integration Services
    2. Information Gathering
    3. Community Involvement, Leadership Development, and Volunteer Management

    AmeriCorps members are charged with coordinating workshops and intake clinics focused on naturalization, financial literacy and economic development; assisting LPRs in filling out the N-400 citizenship application; teaching and/or coordinating English and citizenship preparation courses; strengthening and developing organization partnerships; conducting needs assessments and community education within the immigrant community; developing volunteer opportunities; cultivating immigrant and new citizen leadership; and training and coordinating volunteers.

    Citizenship Maryland

    CASA de Maryland formed Citizenship Maryland to address one of the primary barriers that Legal Permanent Residents face in becoming U.S. citizens – the financial burden of the naturalization process.  The loan program was designed in collaboration with financial institutions and two Community Development Financial Institutions (CFDIs): the Latino Economic Development Corporation (LEDC) and the Ethiopian Community Development Council Enterprise Development Group (EDG), following a review of small dollar loan programs nationwide. 

    The goals of Citizenship Maryland are two-fold: 1) to increase the rate of naturalization among LPRs in Maryland and 2) to promote family financial stability and improve financial behaviors through a loan product that provides incentives for timely and complete loan repayment. 

    Loan Details

    •    The loan amount will be set at the cost of the citizenship application, $680, with a 8.5% interest rate (with an existing checking account) or 9% interest rate (without a checking account).  
    •    The borrower begins repayment one month after the loan has been dispersed and s/he will have six months to repay the loan (approximately five payments of $120 and a final payment of $100).  
    •    When the final on-time payment is made, the $25 initial application fee will be deposited into the borrower’s savings account if s/he has one to encourage the individual to continue saving after the loan has been repaid.  
    •    CASA will provide assistance in filling out the N-400 application for citizenship and provide individual coaching sessions on important financial literacy topics such as – budgeting, credit building, wealth and asset building, and consumer protection.
    •    Additionally, borrowers will be encouraged to participate in CASA’s Citizenship classes offered at convenient times throughout the week.

    ____________________________________________________________________

    New American Success Stories

    Tina Davies, Liberia

    “I want to have the opportunity to vote. It is important for everyone to vote so you have your rights and your voice will be heard.”

    Fleeing war-torn Liberia in 1999 and leaving her children was a heart-wrenching decision for Tina Davies. But she knew there was no future for her family amidst the violence in her home country. She traveled to the U.S. as an asylee and worked for years to learn the skills she would need to be successful – including speaking and writing English, driving a car, and balancing a checkbook.

    When she became a U.S. Citizen in April 2011, Tina knew that a new period in her life was beginning – one in which she would be able to vote, unite her family, and travel freely to visit relatives in West Africa. She credits CASA’s New Americans Citizenship Project of Maryland with making her dream of U.S. citizenship come true.


    Carlos Bonilla
    , El Salvador

    “Working with the New Americans Citizenship Project of Maryland was an excellent preparation for my citizenship exam. I was very happy with the support of the members through every step of the application process. When I finished the citizenship class I felt more than ready for the interview. I was very comfortable answering the questions and talking with my interviewer in English. The officer interviewing me even complimented my English skills and how well I had done on the civics portion of the exam.

    I told her it was because I studied with CASA de Maryland. I appreciated that the services are free of charge. Many people have a hard time paying for the application itself, so to offer these kinds of services are a huge benefit to the community.”