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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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

Luis Paulino: “When I became a U.S. citizen I just felt complete. I found a voice that I never had.”

I was born in the Dominican Republic, that beautiful Caribbean island. In 2006 my father obtained his green card and we decided to migrate to the United States in search of better opportunities; in search of the American dream. My parents particularly wanted a better education for my younger siblings and myself. Building a platform […]

December 16, 2019

The New Workshop Model: If we’re going to send something into space, it has to be simple.

The Orange County New Americans Campaign partners have been developing a new model for large citizenship group processing workshops that they shared with colleagues from across the country in August. Noticeably absent from the naturalization workshop that concluded the New Americans Campaign’s 2019 national conference were those long, long, lines of waiting attendees. To understand […]

November 18, 2019

Eric Holzapfel: “My Citizenship Story Came Full Circle”

I came to the United States first with my mom when I was 4 years old. She came to study education for 6 or 7 months, and wanted to open a language academy in Ecuador for people to learn English. As my mom was finishing her education there was a financial crisis in Ecuador, so […]

October 31, 2019

Fikile Ryder: “I Fell in Love with the Goal of Keeping Families Together”

My name is Fikile Ryder, I was born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. I first came to the United States in August of 2003. I came with a temporary work visa because I got offered a job to work in Virginia with a child who had autism. I didn’t have permanent status, so when my visa ended […]

October 23, 2019

John Jabez Ledres: “When I check off my candidate on the ballot, that is when I will feel the power of citizenship”

My name is John Jabez Ledres. I was born in Cebu City, in the Philippines. My mother was a dentist as well as a tutor and my father was a CEO for a nonprofit. They had really good jobs but even so they saw that there was not a lot of opportunity in the Philippines, […]

October 7, 2019

Digital Communication & Civic Engagement: What Works?

Text. WeChat. Emojis. Chatbots. Facebook. NationBuilder. Do you use any of these (or all) to communicate with your immigrant community about the resources you provide on their path to citizenship? Participants in the Civic Engagement plenary of 2019 New Americans Campaign conference have been experimenting with these digital tools and were on hand to share […]

October 1, 2019

Citizenship Grants: Local Governments Investing in Residents Who Are Pursuing Their Dreams

These are stressful times for immigrants in America: from the policing, detention, and deportation of immigrant families, to visa and citizenship processing delays, to the airwaves filled with hateful rhetoric. So when immigrant residents of Montgomery County, MD learn that their local government wants to make it easier for them to become U.S. citizens, they […]

September 26, 2019

Jorge Salles Díaz: “I Want to Make Immigrants Feel Like They Belong”

Jorge Salles Díaz is project coordinator for the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC) in Nashville, a New Americans Campaign affiliate. Jorge is a 2018 graduate of Vanderbilt University and this July 25, he became a United States Citizen. We caught up with Jorge just hours after he took his citizenship oath. It wasn’t […]

August 14, 2019