USCIS Announces Citizenship and Integration Grant Program Recipients
September 18, 2012 § Leave a comment
USCIS recently announced the award of approximately $5 million in grants that was aimed to promote immigrant civic integration and prepare Lawful permanent residents (green card holders) for citizenship. Through this program, 31 immigrant-serving organizations from 21 states and the District of Columbia will receive federal funding to support preparation of citizenship services for permanent residents for a two year period till September 2014.
Significantly, this is the fourth year USCIS has awarded competitive grant funding to immigrant-serving organizations to support preparing for the citizenship process. The first three years of the program saw a total of $18.3 million awarded through 111 grants to immigrant-serving organizations. Till date, approximately 38,000 permanent residents in 30 states and the District of Columbia have benefited from the program.
USCIS expects another 26,000 permanent residents to receive citizenship preparation services by September 2014. Grant recipients of this year’s program will offer citizenship instruction to prepare permanent residents for the civics and English sections of the naturalization test. They will also offer citizenship application services within the scope of the authorized practice of immigration law. The period of performance for the grants is two years.
Remember that the grant recipients are public or private nonprofit organizations with recent experience in providing citizenship instruction and application services to qualifying persons. Public school systems, public libraries, community and faith-based groups, adult education organizations, and literacy organizations are such organizations. These organizations are geographically diverse and represent both traditional immigrant destinations and new immigrant gateways across 21 states and the District of Columbia. They plan to provide citizenship instruction and naturalization application services to approximately 10,000 permanent residents from 50 countries. Grant recipients represent:
- Eight of the top ten states in the US with the largest permanent resident populations who are now eligible to apply for citizenship (California, New York, Texas, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Washington and Virginia)
- Nine of the top ten states with the largest growth in the terms of permanent residents during the last ten years (California, New York, Florida, Texas, Illinois, Massachusetts, Virginia, Georgia and Maryland)
- Seventeen of the top twenty states with the largest numbers of naturalizations yearly (California, New York, Florida, Texas, Illinois, Massachusetts, Virginia, Maryland, Washington, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan, North Carolina, Minnesota, Ohio, Connecticut and Colorado); and
- Eleven of the top fifteen metropolitan areas with the highest number of new permanent residents during the last ten years (New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Washington DC, Chicago, Houston, Boston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, San Jose and Seattle)
More than 150 eligible applications were reviewed by USCIS. A three-member team composed of internal USCIS reviewers evaluated those proposals. Applications were scored numerically using published evaluation criteria and rank ordered. A second USCIS internal review panel determined the finalists based on the rank order and published strategic program priorities.