MIAMI — At a press conference today, the New Americans Campaign announced the launch of Citizenship 1-2-3, a campaign to help green card holders become U.S. citizens through an accessible and innovative process.
This campaign, underwritten by a generous grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, brings together an online tool, on-the-ground legal service providers, a texting platform and a telephone hotline to provide lawful permanent residents (LPRs) with the information, tools and support they need to begin the naturalization process.
“Applying for citizenship is easier than some people think,” said Emilio Gonzalez, former director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, who serves as the spokesman for the campaign. “If we can help people become full-fledged Americans, our communities and our country will reap the benefits.”
In its initial pilot phase this month, Citizenship 1-2-3 will aim to reach the 240,000 Latino/Hispanic green card holders in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale designated market area who are eligible to naturalize.
The New Americans Campaign is partnering with Citizenshipworks, Catholic Legal Services-Archdiocese of Miami (CLS), NALEO Educational Fund, Florida Immigrant Coalition, Voto Latino,Center for Immigrant Advancement (CIMA), Florida International University, Hispanic Unity,International Rescue Committee Miami, Read 2 Succeed and iAmerica.
Quotes from candidates:
Melissa A. Rodgers, Director of Programs, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, New Americans Campaign:
“This program gives the New Americans Campaign a great opportunity to carry out its mission. By using innovative communications and technological tools, Citizenship 1-2-3 is able to reach the populations we are ready to help: eligible lawful permanent residents who want to become U.S. citizens and just don’t know where to begin. Our campaign makes it easy for green-card holders to apply for citizenship knowing that our trusted local partners can help them.”
Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez, Miami-Dade County:
“Citizenship 1-2-3 is another important tool for helping our community better understand the often complex naturalization process. This initiative greatly complements the work we are doing as the first partnering county in the Cities for Citizenship initiative. The benefits of citizenship are tremendous not only for the individuals who naturalize, but also for our community and nation as a whole. I hope all eligible residents will take the final step to citizenship.”