Read stories from the new Americans our network has helped, our partners and volunteers working on the ground, and the New Americans Campaign.

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Kimiko Olling: I folded 1000 cranes to express my gratitude

I am from Osaka, Japan. I came to the United States in January 2002, 18 years ago. I got a green card and I got married but I didn’t get my citizenship until last year—2019. I waited, waited, waited.  At first, I didn’t feel that I wanted to change my nationality. I would have to […]

May 11, 2020

Candida Almonte: I saw the green-eyed woman from my dream and thought to myself, “I’ve already passed this test!”

Candida Almonte, who became a U.S. citizen on December 6, 2019, told us her story with the help of Sonia Santana, an immigration program coordinator at Dominicanos USA, a New Americans Campaign partner, who translated the discussion from Spanish. Candida Almonte: I’ve lived in the United States for 18 years. I am from the Dominican […]

May 1, 2020

Abiodun Freeman: I decided to become a citizen. So I googled “citizenship.”

I’m from Sierra Leone, West Africa. I came to the United States on October 22, 2008. My dad actually brought me here. He worked for the U. S. embassy in Freetown as the ambassador’s driver for more than 15 years, and the embassy helped him get a visa to come to the United States. I […]

April 17, 2020

Claudia Morales: The judge was an immigrant as well. Her story was very similar to mine.

I am originally from Santiago, Chile, and I have lived in the United States for almost 19 years. My mom had two siblings that were already living in the United States and they convinced my parents to move here. They thought there would be better opportunities for my sister and me. So after my grandparents […]

March 30, 2020

Remote Naturalization Services

The New Americans Campaign wants to help you during the upcoming months while we are all experiencing widespread closures and uncertainty due to the Coronavirus epidemic. There has been tremendous growth in the number of naturalized citizens over the past 20 years. The Pew Research Center reported currently 23 million naturalized citizens who are eligible […]

March 25, 2020

Chinyere Melville: “It’s an indescribable feeling. I saw grown men cry.”

I’m originally from Trinidad and Tobago. I came here when I was 19 years old to go to college, but wasn’t able to finish my degree at the time. In 2012 I got my green card through marriage and became eligible for citizenship three years later. But I did not actually make an appointment to […]

February 24, 2020

New U.S. Citizenship Fee Rules Explained

What’s up with the fees to apply for U.S. citizenship? Has the government changed the rules? The rules about how much it costs to apply for naturalization, and how to apply for a fee waiver, are in flux. The Fee Rule changes are currently under review by USCIS and more than 43,000 comments were submitted […]

February 18, 2020

Julie Garner-Pringle: At the citizenship test, “I was so nervous I actually stumbled as I read the English sentence even though it’s my first language!”

I’m originally from Winnipeg, Canada. I have a teaching degree, so I first went to Hungary to teach English, and then to Egypt where I met and married my now ex-husband. Our sons were born in Egypt and, 20 years ago, we decided it was time to leave there to raise our kids. My ex’s […]

February 12, 2020

Adriana Huerta and the ERC Citizenship Ambassador Program: A loan “with a catch” builds a program

After graduates of the Employee Rights Center’s citizenship program in San Diego take their oath of citizenship, they frequently return to the ERC to pose for photos—holding high their new US citizenship certificates. Celebrating by their side, in photo after photo, is Adriana Huerta, the Center’s Community Health Educator. Huerta is a cheerleader for naturalization […]

January 13, 2020

Zulema Chavero: “I have the opportunity to vote for people who represent my values.”

The United States seemed as though it was another universe, I never thought that I was ever going to come here. I was born in Mexico. I was really happy there. I studied law and I wanted to be a lawyer. But after I finished college, I met my husband who is an American citizen […]

January 10, 2020