About Cities for Citizenship

Cities for Citizenship is a major national initiative aimed at increasing citizenship among eligible U.S. permanent residents and encouraging cities across the country to invest in citizenship programs. It is chaired by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, with support from the Center for Popular Democracy and the National Partnership for New Americans. Citi Community Development is the Founding Corporate Partner.

There are currently 8.8 million legal permanent residents in America who are eligible for citizenship – 52% of whom remain low-income. Their naturalization would provide access to better paying jobs (up to an 11% increase to their personal earnings), academic scholarships, and myriad other benefits. Cities for Citizenship will promote the expansion of naturalization and financial empowerment programs nationwide, boosting economic opportunity for our immigrants and our communities.

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Mayor Bill de Blasio

City of New York

The Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs plans to dramatically expand NYCitizenship, the first large-scale coordinated effort by a municipal government to address the barriers to naturalization, currently supported by Citi Community Development. In its first two years, NYCitizenship already provided support to more than 7,000 participants. The City will expand the existing school-based program and partner with the Human Resources Administration, a municipal agency that serves low-income New Yorkers, to significantly increase access to financial counseling, microloans, immigration legal assistance for the City’s more than 640,000 legal permanent residents.

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Mayor Eric Garcetti

City of Los Angeles

The City will augment the Los Angeles Public Libraries system of Citizenship Corners by integrating a financial component to its already popular citizenship programs, providing guidance to financial coaching resources and access to micro-loans and savings for the city’s immigrant community. The City will also target businesses that have large numbers of eligible citizens and immigrant populations for citizenship and financial coaching support. These efforts target the more than 350,000 legal permanent residents of Los Angeles.

 
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Mayor Rahm Emanuel

City of Chicago

Chicago has pledged to help about one-third of its immigrants become U.S. citizens through the Chicago New Americans initiative, in partnership with the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. The City will offer multi-lingual financial education and citizenship workshops in Citizenship Corners in public libraries, as well as support organizations that offer these services. Staff from community organizations will visit schools with large concentrations of immigrant students and parents to create a one-stop shop for information about the naturalization process, free immigration legal assistance, and financial coaching. The City’s Small Business Center will also provide services to immigrant business-owners and target large immigrant employers for citizenship and financial coaching support.

America is Home Initiative

The Cities for Citizenship (C4C) “America is Home” Initiative is a four-year, $5 million challenge grant program to help municipalities and community partners encourage U.S. citizenship among eligible immigrants and increase naturalization application rates. Our nation has always been a home to those seeking freedom, opportunity, and refuge from persecution. These new Americans have pursued their American Dreams; helped to build our nation; and continue to contribute with their hard work. When immigrants naturalize they have made an affirmative decision to study English, U.S. history and government, and swear allegiance to our Constitution. Naturalized citizens have higher income, generate more taxes, connect with their neighbors more easily, and assume their full rights and responsibilities in this country, to proudly say “America is Home”.