The New Americans Campaign: 10 years strong

The New Americans Campaign (NAC) was launched in July 2011. The NAC is a diverse nonpartisan national network of respected immigration organizations, legal services providers, faith-based organizations, immigrant rights groups, foundations and community leaders. The NAC offers the programs and resources necessary for eligible residents to achieve the dream of U.S. citizenship. In July 2021 the NAC completes ten years and would like to take this opportunity to celebrate the achievements of the partner network, thank our funders and supporters, and celebrate all the LPRs whom we had the privilege of helping in their naturalization journeys over the past ten years.

Since 2011, working with a powerful network of over 200 non-profit partners across the country, the Campaign has:

  • Generated over 500,000 naturalization applications
  • Saved over $456 million dollars to LPR communities through reduced fees and fee waivers
  • Completed over 169,000 requests for fee waivers and reduced fees
  • Conducted more than 8,700 group processing workshops

Attaining citizenship has a profound impact on people’s lives. It not only brings them increased economic opportunities, the ability to reunite with their families, travel freely, and have the same civic rights as all other citizens of the country, it also brings a real sense of belonging for many people who have lived and worked hard in the U.S. for many years.


On the occasion of the New Americans Campaign 10th anniversary we asked our Campaign partners, funders, and clients to tells us about the impact our wonderfully successful naturalization collaborative has had on people’s lives. Watch this video for a glimpse into those conversations.

Video created by 4Site Studios. We are grateful for the participation of:

  • Edith Mkhitarians, Catholic Charities – Los Angeles, CA
  • Eric Cohen, Immigrant Legal Resource Center – San Francisco, CA
  • Eva Grove, Board of Directors, Immigrant Legal Resource Center – San Francisco, CA
  • Jackie Colon, NALEO Educational Fund – Orlando, FL
  • Josephine Kalondji, assisted by NAC partner International Rescue Committee – Dallas, TX, in her naturalization application
  • Melissa Rodgers, former Director of the New Americans Campaign – San Francisco, CA
  • Monica Contreras, International Rescue Committee – Turlock, CA
  • Pablo Blank, CASA – Rockville, MD
  • Riva Castro, assisted by NAC partner Asian Law Alliance – San Jose, CA, in her naturalization application
  • Shehnaz Reza, assisted by NAC partner Indo-American Center – Chicago, IL, in her naturalization application


The New Americans Campaign held a press conference in honor of the NAC’s 10th anniversary. Here are the statements our panelists made about the benefits and barriers to naturalization, policy recommendations for state and local governments for supporting naturalization, and their personal experiences of the naturalization assistance they received from the NAC. The robust Q&A that followed can be viewed on our Facebook page at this link.

We are grateful for the participation of:

  • Eric Cohen, Executive Director, ILRC
  • Tom K. Wong, Associate Professor of Political Science, UC San Diego, and Director, U.S. Immigration Policy Center (USIPC)
  • Arturo Vargas, CEO, NALEO Educational Fund
  • Laura Vazquez, Associate Director for Immigrant Integration, UnidosUS
  • Ilse Bellido Richards, Citizenship Ambassador, Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA)
  • Manik Abdullah, Newly Naturalized U.S. Citizen, Chicago, IL

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A glimpse at the past 10 years of the NAC: Please click on the arrows to scroll right on this timeline to learn more about the NAC and the collaborative’s achievements.

  • July 2011
    Founding of the NAC

    The New Americans Campaign officially launches in July 2011. Led by the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, the New Americans Campaign is a diverse nonpartisan national network of respected immigration organizations, legal services providers, faith-based organizations, immigrant rights groups, foundations and community leaders.

  • July 2011
    National partners join NAC

    In July 2011, the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, NALEO Educational Fund, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – LA, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., Immigration Advocates Network, the National Immigration Forum, the National Partnership for New Americans, Pro Bono Net, and International Rescue Committee join the NAC as national partners, followed by UnidosUS in 2015.

  • July 2011
    First NAC sites established

    The original eight NAC sites include Charlotte, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, and Silicon Valley. Over the years additional sites are established in Napa, Seattle, Chicago, Washington DC, Atlanta, Central Valley (CA), San Francisco, Orange County, San Diego, Philadelphia, East Bay (CA), Phoenix, and Denver.

  • July 2011
    Funders support the NAC launch

    Founding funders of the NAC include the Carnegie Corporation, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Open Society Foundations, and the Grove Foundation. Additional funders who joined the NAC after its launch include the JPB Foundation, Wallace H. Coulter Foundation, California Wellness Foundation, Silicon Valley Community Foundation – Donor Advices Fund, Bernard and Anne Spitzer Charitable Trust, The California Endowment, and the Beacon Fund.

  • August 2011
    Citizenshipworks launch

    Citizenshipworks and Citizenshipworks 2.0 are launched with the mission to make applying for citizenship safer, simpler, and more affordable. Applicants are guided through the naturalization application online and connected with free legal assistance if needed.

  • May 2013
    First NAC conference

    The first NAC conference is held in Los Angeles, CA. The conference is an annual opportunity for partners to gather to learn and share best practices.

  • March 2014
    100,000 LPRs impacted

    The NAC reaches the milestone of supporting 100,000 LPRs with citizenship applications.

  • February 2016
    Citizenship 123 Campaign

    Citizenship 123 Communications Campaign launches in Miami as a pilot campaign integrating paid media, the online application platform Citizenshipworks, local legal service providers, text and email communication tools, and NALEO’s telephone hotline.

  • May 2016
    100 local NAC partners

    100 local partner organizations are part of the NAC.

  • July 2016
    Citizenship language added to CBP website

    Through the NAC collaborative’s advocacy, language is added to the US Customs and Border Patrol webpage letting LPRs know they may be eligible to become citizens after a certain period of time; and links are provided to the USCIS Citizenship Resource Center.

  • November 2016
    Innovation Fund launch

    The Innovation Fund helps fund small projects that partners propose that are innovative in creating solutions to common problems faced by partners in their day to day naturalization work or to address other challenges.

  • December 2016
    New reduced fee for naturalization

    USCIS institutes a reduced fee option for certain individuals whose income puts them above the threshold for a fee waiver but whose income remains too low for them to afford the full cost of the filing fee for the naturalization application.  Learn more: One Million Immigrants May Benefit from Partial Fee Waiver

  • December 2016
    250,000 LPRs impacted

    The NAC supports 250,000 LPRs with citizenship applications.

  • March 2017
    Partnerships with Pipeline Partners

    The NAC partners with USA Learns to develop a citizenship course to help prepare applicants for the naturalization interview.

    The NAC partners with local human services agencies in several counties in California to hold mega naturalization workshops, helping thousands of people access free naturalization services in just a few days.

  • April 2017
    Fee waiver calculator launch

    The fee waiver calculator on the NAC website helps people determine their eligibility for a reduced fee or fee waiver to avoid the cost of the naturalization application.

  • July 2017
    USCIS allowed to take donations for naturalization assistance

    Congressional authorization is secured for the USCIS to solicit and accept private donations to fund naturalization promotion and assistance, and other immigrant integration activities.

  • October 2017
    Civic Engagement Pilot

    The civic engagement pilot connects newly naturalized citizens with voter registration organizations.

  • January 2018
    200 local NAC partners

    200 local partner organizations are part of the NAC.

  • January 2018
    EFFORTS Fund launch

    The goal of the Experimentation Fund for Optimizing Revenue-raising Techniques & Streams (EFFORTS) is to encourage partners to find new revenue streams, develop partnerships, and create innovative fundraising projects that are measurable and replicable.

  • March 2018
    Digital communications campaign

    The NAC works with the agency 18 Coffees to create communications campaigns to promote naturalization on social media.

  • March 2018
    100,000 fee waivers

    The NAC helps complete 100,000 fee waivers since launch.

  • February 2019
    Remote legal review

    Partners provide remote legal review of naturalization applications.

  • July 2019
    Census work

    NAC partners work to encourage participation in the 2020 census.

  • December 2019
    Injunction on fee waiver changes

    Judge blocks rule making it much harder to qualify for fee waiver. Learn more: Judge Blocks DHS From Implementing Unlawful Restrictions to Citizenship and Immigration Applications

  • April 2020
    Use of innovative tech in the pandemic

    NAC partners respond to pandemic with innovative technology. Learn more: Remote Naturalization Services

  • May 2020
    Online naturalization workshops

    NAC partners innovate and adapt their services during the COVID-19 pandemic to safely provide virtual citizenship workshops using online tools. Learn more: Virtual Citizenship Workshops Shift Into High Gear This September

  • September 2020
    Injunction on fee increase
  • February 2021
    500,000 LPRs impacted

    The NAC supports 500,000 LPRs with citizenship applications.

Learn more

NAC toolkits

  • Citizenship Ambassadors: Peer-to-Peer Outreach for Non-Profit Naturalization Programs  > View
  • Comprehensive Guide to Remote Citizenship Services: Lessons from the New Americans Campaign Virtual Review Pilot   >View
  • State Government Guide to Promoting U.S. Citizenship and Facilitating Naturalization  >View
  • Fundraising for Non-Profit Naturalization Programs  > View

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