According to estimates, there are about 13.3 million permanent residents living in the United States today — and nearly nine million of them are eligible to become citizens.
Today, President Obama, in conjunction with non-profit group Civic Nation, launched the “Stand Stronger” Citizenship Awareness campaign, an effort to encourage eligible immigrants to take this hugely important step “in their American journey and commit to citizenship.”
The comprehensive effort not only includes a plan to work on a local level to encourage immigrant integration efforts, but also new commitments from the federal government to provide additional resources and assistance to eligible immigrants seeking to realize the American Dream.
A small selection from the White House plans (with full details here):
Today, USCIS announced that it is expanding mobile services to rural communities through a new partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, beginning to allow credit card payments of naturalization fees. USCIS is also launching two new tools for those seeking assistance with the naturalization process: a citizenship class locator that allows you to find a citizenship or English class in your community, and a new, interactive online civics practice test. Both of these tools are designed with the user in mind and focused on answering the most pressing questions that soon-to-be citizens might have.
Campaign materials will be hugely inclusive, with materials available in “Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean and Tagalog, and the campaign will be promoted by various media companies such as Univision, Entravision, Latina Magazine and People en Español,” according to the AP.
According to the White House, over 70 citizenship outreach events — hosted by an array of localities, businesses, and non-profit groups — are already scheduled this first week alone:
Those efforts will complement activities hosted by the federal government,including 200 naturalization ceremonies that will welcome more than 36,000 new citizens across thecountry during Constitution Week (September 17-23) and in honor of Constitution Day and CitizenshipDay (September 17).
Additionally, President Obama released a special video marking the launch of the “Stand Stronger” campaign:
“If you are eligible, commit to become a citizen today. It is an important step for you, and an important step for our nation,” he said. “Join us. Together we can make America to stand even stronger.”