More than 2.6 million Mexican-native lawful permanent residents (LPRs) are eligible to become U.S. citizens. Thanks to New Americans Campaign national partner NALEO Educational Fund and its relationship with the Mexican Embassy, the New Americans Campaign took a first step in October to help more of these LPRs access citizenship services offered by Campaign partners.
A webinar for consulate staff and naturalization service providers on Oct. 14 featured a speaker from the Mexican Embassy, staff from the Mexican consular network and New Americans Campaign partners. More than 120 attendees heard specific information about the services that consulates and Campaign partners provide and examples of how Mexican consulates and Campaign partners are working together to offer naturalization help.
Speakers included Julián Escutia-Rodriguez, head of the Consular Coordination and Hispanic Affairs Section at the Embassy of Mexico; Melissa Rodgers, Director of Programs at the Immigrant Legal Resource Center and Project Director for the New Americans Campaign; Elisa Sequeira, National Director of Civic Engagement Programs at NALEO Educational Fund; Alexia Núñez, Consul for Community Affairs at the New York City Consulate of Mexico; Andrés Lemons, Staff Attorney at CUNY Citizenship Now! in New York City; and Alex Triantaphyllis, Director of Immigration and Economic Opportunity at Neighborhood Centers in Houston.
The Mexican Embassy and consular network currently promote naturalization as a component of immigrant integration and highlight the right of Mexican nationals to maintain their Mexican citizenship while also obtaining U.S. citizenship. Consulates are trusted sources of immigration information and are prime locations for community-serving events, such as naturalization workshops. They also have community outreach staff and daily contact with hundreds of Mexican nationals. This makes partnering with the New Americans Campaign a natural fit.
The Mexican Embassy encouraged consulates attending the webinar to display and disseminate printed materials about naturalization, provide information about citizenship during other outreach events such as health fairs, and use the app MiConsulMex and the Centro de Información y Asistencia a Mexicanos (CIAM) hotline to share information about upcoming citizenship workshops and information sessions.
New Americans Campaign partners described how Mexican consular staff have volunteered at their workshops and phone banks and have provided documents and information to LPRs who are citizens of Mexico.
Sequeira noted that consulates “can help support the outreach and promotion of U.S. citizenship and the events of the New Americans Campaign,” and be a resource to Mexican nationals “so that they’re receiving trusted assistance with immigration processes.”
We look forward to further developing partnerships between New Americans Campaign organizations and many of the 50 Mexican consulates nationwide.