Integrity Legal

27th February 2010

US Citizenship is an aspiration for many of those individuals who opt to immigrate to the United States of America. Naturalization is the legal process that foreign nationals undertake when they wish to become a US Citizen. For many the process is somewhat confusing. The naturalization process can also seem daunting as a foreign national must spend a significant amount of time any money in order to naturalize. Recently the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) stated that funds will be made available to assist in integrating foreign nationals into the American polity, the following is a press release from USCIS promulgated by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA):

“U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today the availability of two different
grants designed to help prepare lawful permanent residents (LPRs) for citizenship and advance integration in the United States. This year’s program will make nearly $7 million available for citizenship education in communities across the country.”

This 7 million dollar grant shows a marked increase in funding for this initiative as this program was not as heavily funded in the past. It could be inferred that USCIS is resolved to promote Citizenship education for foreign nationals:

“’Each aspiring citizen represents a personal story of sacrifice and triumph,” said USCIS Director
Alejandro Mayorkas. “This funding will increase opportunities for English language instruction, promote the rights and responsibilities that define our nation, and provide much-needed support for individuals on the path to citizenship.’”

The funding provided in these grants will help facilitate multiple goals. All of these goals are within the context of Immigration to the United States and Naturalization to American Citizenship:


The first grant will strengthen locally-based citizenship preparation programs. The second grant will
increase the capacity of members or affiliates of national, regional, or statewide organizations to offer
citizenship services in underserved communities. USCIS expects to announce an estimated 50 award
recipients in September 2010.

When comparing this initiative to its counterpart in 2009, the difference in funding becomes glaringly obvious:

During fiscal year (FY) 2009, USCIS awarded $1.2 million in grants to 13 immigrant-serving organizations across the country. These awards are currently expanding services and outreach on U.S. citizenship, educational opportunities, and available resources to nearly 70,000 LPRs in 11 states.

That being said, USCIS’s efforts to fully integrate foreign nationals into the tapestry of Americana should be applauded as it marks a positive step. There are many who feel that naturalization makes individuals more engaged in the American way of life and provides recent immigrants with an aim and goal to pursue.

For more information about this and other US Immigration issues please see: Fiance Visa Thailand.


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