This Week in Immigration Reform — Week Ending March 4


Week Ending March 4

This week in immigration: NCLR demonstrates the benefits of integrating financial capability resources and immigration service programs; and USCIS grant program provides $10 million for citizenship and immigrant integration work.

NCLR kept the community informed with staff quoted in NBC News, EFE, and Univision.

NCLR highlights financial capability and immigration work: From 1998-2008, application costs of applying for U.S. citizenship rose 610 percent, putting naturalization out of reach for many aspiring new Americans. NCLR, in partnership with Citi Foundation, works with Affiliates nationwide to integrate financial capability resources and immigration legal service programs. Since its inception, Affiliates have assisted 1,371 people with immigration legal services and financial capability, while 671 have received basic financial education when visiting an Affiliate for immigration services. For more, see a blog post penned this month highlighting the program and the individuals who have benefited, such as one program participant who, during his citizenship preparation, received one-on-one coaching sessions that helped him remove credit report errors and open a money market account so he could begin saving for a house. He has since become a citizen and soon will have saved enough to put a down payment on his first home.

USCIS grant program offers funds for citizenship preparation programs: USCIS announced this week that the agency has begun accepting applications for its Citizenship and Integration Grant Program. These grants will be used to help prepare permanent residents for naturalization by assisting organizations who offer citizenship preparation services. Specifically, USCIS will be distributing grants for two separate programs: one provides funds for organizations which offer both citizenship instruction and naturalization application services to legal permanent residents, while the other will assist organizations interested in establishing or expanding citizenship instruction programs. Up to $10 million in funding will be available through these programs. The application deadline is April 22, with award recipients notified in September. More information can be found on the USCIS website, and stay tuned for upcoming webinars for organizations interested in applying for these grants.

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