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National Partnership for New Americans

April 13, 2012

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In this issue:

1) Partnership Launches National Become a Citizen Now! Campaign

2) Register for the 2012 National Immigrant Integration Conference (Hosted by CASA de Maryland)

3) Register for the Free Citizenship Fee Waiver Webinar on April 18 (Hosted by ICIRR)

4) Partnership, Allies Launch Campaign to Win a Deeper Commitment to Naturalization Efforts

5) How to Obtain BIA Recognition & Accreditation & Overview of Citizenship & Naturalization Law Training

6) New Americans Collaborative Webinar Trainings (Hosted by The NYIC)

Partnership Launches National Become a Citizen Now! Campaign

On Saturday, March 24, 2012, the National Partnership for New Americans launched its Become a Citizen Now! national citizenship campaign by training hundreds of volunteers across the country to become citizenship coaches, who will volunteer at citizenship clinics and assist Legal Permanent Residents (LPRs) through the citizenship process. The Partnership also launched a one-stop online platform for naturalization assistance with www.becomeacitizennow.org in English and www.hazteciudadanoahora.org in Spanish, plus active social media platforms -  including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube - that, in addition to being a citizenship resource, will help drive a national conversation around immigrant integration.

The Become a Citizen Now! launch was covered by Univision's Despierta America, NBC Latino, MetroWest Daily News, Hispanic Tips, Equal Voice, South Florida Caribbean News, and others.

Across the country, our partners hosted a variety of events and trained many volunteers:

NAKASEC in California: 25 people volunteered on Saturday's citizenship clinic co-hosted by NALEO and SEIU which was attended by 190 community members, 50 of whom were Korean. In total, 35 N400 applications were processed for Korean Americans.

VOCES de la Frontera in Wisconsin: Hosted an informational session attended by 60 Legal Permanent Residents.

CIRC in Colorado: Hosted a volunteer training on completing the N400 and fee waivers attended by 40 people. CIRC will be hosting their first citizenship clinic on April 28.

FLIC in Florida: 30 people attended two volunteer trainings given by two experienced attorneys and will be hosting their first workshop on April 21.

TIRRC in Tennessee: at the launch, 22 volunteers attended a training which included fee waivers. TIRRC held its first citizenship clinic on April 1.

CAUSA in Oregon: On March 17, CAUSA hosted its first citizenship clinic in which 27 volunteers helped process 31 N400 applications. On March 24, 20 volunteers received training.

OneAmerica in Washington: Held a volunteer luncheon for 218 volunteers and prospective volunteers honoring the 3600+ hours attorney volunteers have donated since 2008. OneAmerica also held four citizenship academies across the state training 121 new volunteers and creating community outreach squads in four sites for the upcoming Citizenship Days on April 21.

MIRA in Massachusetts: Trained 25 volunteers, 65 people came to the citizenship clinic where 42 completed N400s.

CASA de Maryland: AmeriCorps members completed a training for people attending an upcoming citizenship clinic.

NYIC in New York: On March 7, 31 people were trained for BIA training and 32 people were trained for BIA citizenship and naturalization. A two-day naturalization training also took place on March 19 and 20. 

ICIRR in Illinois: On March 24, two citizenship clinics took place in Chicago. Over 120 applicants completed N400 citizenship applications, and over two hundred volunteers were trained leading up to the launch.

During the year, we aim to reach almost 73,000 LPRs though general outreach and media, assist almost 13,000 LPRs, and complete 3,650 N400 applications.

"The successful launch of our citizenship campaign marks the beginning of a truly vibrant and welcoming society in which immigrants are able to contribute at every level," says Eva Millona, co-chair of the Partnership and Executive Director of the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition. "We would like to take this opportunity to extend our deepest appreciation to the Open Society Foundation whose encouragement and financial support made this campaign possible."

Volunteers at CIRC's training
Volunteer training at the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition on March 24, 2012

2) Register for the 2012 National Immigration Integration Conference (Hosted by CASA de Maryland)

The 2012 National Immigrant Integration Conference (NIIC 2012) is the signature event of the National Partnership for New Americans. The conference, now in its fifth year, has grown in size, scope, and vision each and every year since 2008. NIIC 2012 is hosted by CASA de Maryland and will be held at the Baltimore Hilton in Baltimore, Maryland, from September 22-25, 2012. Organizers are expecting between 800-1,000 participants, and aim to deepen the understanding and strategic thinking about what constitutes successful immigrant integration.

The Naturalization and Civic Engagement track of the NIIC 2012 will be put together with active support of the New Americans Collaborative, CLINIC, NALEO, National Immigration Forum, Carnegie Foundation, and the Immigrant Legal Resource Center.

"We look forward to the National Immigrant Integration Conference. We need to make democracy real by understanding the value of citizenship by encouraging the government to look for creative ways to reduce barriers to encourage people to take the step towards citizenship," says Joshua Hoyt, co-chair of the Partnership, and Chief Strategy Executive of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights.

Register for the conference today!

Register for NIIC 2012

3) Register for the Free Citizenship Fee Waiver Webinar on April 18th, 3 pm EST / 2 pm CST (Hosted by ICIRR)

Learn everything you need to know about fee waivers, from screening to helping clients filling out the form, and helping making the citizenship application process more attainable to eligible applicants. The fee waiver application is a crucial tool in helping qualified legal permanent residents afford the citizenship application. Don't miss this great opportunity for you and your organization.

Hosted by the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights and the Partnership. Space is limited, register now!

4) Partnership, Allies Launch Campaign to Win a Deeper Federal Commitment to Naturalization Efforts

While the efforts of U.S.C.I.S. to limit citizenship fee increases, eliminate backlogs, and standardize the fee waiver process are very important, it cannot be said that there has been a deep push in support of naturalization by the Federal government during the first term of President Obama.

The Partnership is working with the National Immigration Forum to initiate an effort to win deeper federal commitment to naturalization. The Partnership with members of the Naturalization Working Group, the New Americans Collaboration (NAC), and our philanthropic allies can work together to encourage a much deeper commitment to naturalization efforts should there be a second term. There are many ways that the Administration could work with policy and programmatic experts to facilitate naturalization. These strategies could include:

  • notifying LPR’s when they become eligible to apply for citizenship, what the requirements are, and how to proceed;
  • an examination of the fee structure for immigration services that properly values citizenship (discussed more below);
  • advocating for general revenue funding of citizenship services to reduce the cost;
  • grant programs within both the U.S.C.I.S. and the Department of Education to support citizenship adult education efforts;
  • a naturalization campaign could be a part of the immigrant integration efforts being pushed by the White House itself.

The conversation has already begun on ways to engage this administration at the highest levels to ensure and deepen federal commitment to naturalization in both the most practical and the most symbolic of ways.

5) How to Obtain BIA Recognition & Accreditation & Overview of Citizenship & Naturalization Law

WHEN: Wednesday, May, 16, 2012, 9am—5pm
WHERE: International Institute of Connecticut, Inc., 175 Main Street, 1st Floor, Hartford, CT 06106
WHO: Hosted by New York Immigration Coalition, the Partnership, and The International Institute of Connecticut

Street parking and limited parking lot spaces are available.

TOPICS COVERED IN SESSION
The morning session of this training will provide an overview of the requirements for obtaining Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) Recognition for your non-profit agency so that it may provide immigration legal services through Accredited Representatives. We also will cover the requirements for obtaining accreditation for individual non-attorney employees of recognized agencies. There is no CLE credit for the morning session. The afternoon training will cover basic topics relating to naturalization and citizenship. Topics will include acquisition and derivation of citizenship, eligibility for naturalization, impediments and bars to naturalization, practice and procedure. Both trainings will be conducted by Thomas J. Shea, Esq. of the NYIC staff.

New York State CLE Credit: 4 credits in professional practice.

Please email your registration form to Jonathan Vidal at Jvidal@thenyic.org

For a pdf copy of the flyer click here.

6) New Americans Collaborative Webinar Trainings (Hosted by The NYIC)

Join the New Americans Collaborative for volunteer and partner webinar trainings as part of AILA’s  National Day of Citizenship and the launch of ya es hora ¡CIUDADANIA! National Month of Citizenship. Register for the trainings below!

Monday, April 16th at 10am PST / 1pm EST
https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/457203454

Thursday, April 19th at 10am PST / 1pm EST
https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/672733430

About The Partnership

The National Partnership for New Americans (The Partnership) advances the integration and active citizenship of immigrants to achieve a vibrant, just, and welcoming democracy for all. The Partnership is a national multiethnic, multiracial partnership that harnesses the collective power and resources of 12 of the largest immigrant advocacy organizations in the country to mobilize millions of immigrants for integration and transformative social change. The Partnership creates and implements innovative programs that help immigrants become active and engaged citizens working for a stronger and more inclusive democracy and a vibrant nation.

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