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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Toan Van Nguyen: After 35 years, going back to Vietnam was his gift to himself

Toan Van Nguyen: I was in the Vietnamese Airforce, where I worked alongside the U.S. Airforce in Saigon, Vietnam. I was a pilot and I flew helicopters in and out of the Pleiku jungle during the most critical times of the war. After the war ended in 1975, I was imprisoned for three and a […]

October 1, 2020

Virtual Citizenship Workshops Shift Into High Gear This September

The coronavirus pandemic brought an end to the large in-person, indoor workshops that many of our New Americans Campaign partners worked tirelessly to orchestrate over the years. It did not, however, put an end to the need. With a substantial fee hike looming on October 2, many of our partners have become more flexible, creative, […]

September 16, 2020

Citizenshipworks: Virtual Review Pioneer

The online platform Citizenshipworks was launched in 2011 to make applying for citizenship easier and more accessible. It was designed by three non-profits, Immigration Advocates Network, the Immigrant Legal Resource Center and Pro Bono Net, to provide in-person naturalization service providers with an online tool to help complete naturalization applications. The world has turned upside […]

September 3, 2020

Martha Olivas: “For so long I felt that this is my children’s country, my grandchildren’s country, and now I know it is my country too.”

Martha Olivas, who became a citizen on February 28, 2020, told us her story with the help of Michel Rangel, an immigration program coordinator at Arkansas Immigrant Defense, a New Americans Campaign partner, who translated the discussion from Spanish. Martha Olivas: I applied for citizenship because that was my dream, I love this country. I’ve […]

August 25, 2020

Ruth Njike: I have a voice, I have a prosthesis, I’m learning to drive, and I’m excited to vote.

I came to the United States in October, 2013 from Douala, Cameroon, the country’s economic capital. I was a winner in the diversity visa lottery. I played the diversity visa lottery every year. I’d start in October and then I’d get the result the next year in May. In May 2012 it was the fourth […]

August 12, 2020

A new survey on changing naturalization procedures finds the road to U.S. citizenship is rockier than ever

The Migration Policy Institute (MPI) released a new report in July, A Rockier Road to U.S. Citizenship? Findings of a Survey on Changing Naturalization Procedures, that sheds light on a disturbing trend observed by many naturalization service providers since the beginning of the Trump administration—it’s becoming more difficult, more time intensive, and more burdensome to […]

July 31, 2020

Carl Bergquist: Just two days before my oath ceremony, I learned that USCIS offices were closed and everything was canceled due to COVID-19.

I’m originally from Stockholm, Sweden. I first moved to the United States when I was six years old. My father was a diplomat in the Swedish foreign service. His first posting abroad after my brother and I were born was in Washington, DC. I had just turned six, my brother was four, and we were […]

July 15, 2020

Lessons from Our Virtual World Part Three

In this third and final installment of Lessons from Our Virtual World we hear from service providers in New York City where priorities have shifted in the pandemic’s devastating wake. Click here to read Part One and Part Two. GMHC and NALEO Educational Fund In New York City, where the COVID-19 pandemic has hit the […]

June 17, 2020

Lessons from Our Virtual World Part Two

In Part Two of this series of three posts we go to Atlanta, Georgia to learn how the IRC Atlanta’s virtual review pilot project is adapting to meet the new challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic. Click here to read Part One. The International Rescue Committee in Atlanta The IRC in Atlanta, Georgia, also had […]

June 16, 2020

Lessons from Our Virtual World Part One

When the coronavirus pandemic shut the doors of naturalization service providers last March, some New Americans Campaign partners were already testing remote services. But no one could have imagined the impact the quarantine would have on aspiring U.S. citizens or the legal services providers who serve them. The pandemic has created significant obstacles. People are […]

June 15, 2020