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Annual USCIS grant program supports the citizenship and integration services of our local partners

October 2, 2019

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The United States Citizenship and immigration Services (USCIS) announced its 11th annual citizenship and assimilation grants at the end of September. Nearly $10 million dollars supporting citizenship preparation services will be divided among 41 organizations in 24 states.

First stop: the workshop registration table. New Americans Campaign partners host naturalization workshops across the U.S. (Photo by Shelly Erceg)

Eleven of the grants, that range from $225,000 to $250,000, will be awarded to New Americans Campaign partners and affiliates. We are delighted that our colleagues will have this funding to support their efforts to help lawful permanent residents apply for citizenship.

Some of the biggest hurdles for aspiring citizens
include finding trustworthy assistance to understand a daunting process. These
grants help our Campaign partners throughout the U.S. provide essential legal
help and host workshops where volunteers and pro bono attorneys lend a
hand to assist people as they fill out and file their citizenship applications.
The grant money also specifically funds assimilation assistance and educational
programs that teach English language skills as well as U.S. history and civics
in preparation for the citizenship test.

A new requirement this year,
however, dissuaded at least a few of our partners from applying. For the first
time, USCIS, will require that all grant recipients enroll in E-Verify within
30 days of receiving their funds and remain enrolled throughout the life of the
grant. Grant recipients then must verify anyone newly hired to work at a funded

Since the program’s inception in 2009, more
than $90 million in grants has been awarded. It is funding that has helped our
partners and others assist more than 245,000 lawful permanent residents and refugees
in 39 states and the District of Columbia prepare their citizenship
applications, according to the USCIS.

We congratulate our 11 Campaign partners and affiliates who received one of this year’s awards: