National Partnership for New Americans
March 22, 2012
CASA de Maryland Helps Train 1,000 Volunteers to Provide Citizenship Services
Although there are over 8 million lawful permanent residents (LPR) across the country eligible to become citizens, less than 1 million of them naturalize every year. Starting this Saturday, CASA de Maryland aims to change this dynamic by training long-term volunteers who are committed to transforming lawful permanent residents into active citizens.
Last year, CASA de Maryland joined with 11 other grassroots, immigrant rights advocacy organizations to create the National Partnership for New Americans (Partnership) in order to promote and support citizenship.
On Saturday March 24, the Partnership is launching its ambitious citizenship program, Become a Citizen Now!, to train over 1,000 Citizenship Coaches who can build national capacity over the next year to meet the Partnership’s collective goal of naturalizing 3650 citizens, assist almost 13,000 legal permanent residents, and outreach to almost 73,000 people in 2012.
Citizenship Coaches are volunteers who believe that immigration makes America stronger and will donate their skills and time to help CASA de Maryland and the Partnership host successful citizenship clinics across the country. This Saturday’s training will enable coaches to help LPR’s throughout the citizenship process, including completing N-400 applications, legal screening, recruiting and coordinating volunteers, and other event logistics.
“Citizenship is an important chapter in a course of events that fully integrate an immigrant into their adopted country,” said George Escobar, Director of Health and Human Services at CASA de Maryland.
CASA will have trained 80 citizenship coaches by March 24 to help navigate Legal Permanent Residents through the naturalization process during monthly citizenship clinics that will begin April 21st with the goal of helping 1000 Maryland residents become US citizens in 2012.
“The Partnership brings together local energy and volunteer boots on the ground to make a tangible impact nationwide, with real numbers,” said Joshua Hoyt, Co-Chair of the Partnership and Chief Strategic Executive of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. “We have a deep reach into immigrant communities that understands the needs while creating opportunities for them to become citizens and active in their communities.”