WASHINGTON - U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced the award of $9 million in grants to expand citizenship preparation programs for permanent residents. Forty-two organizations from 27 states and the District of Columbia will receive funding.
The agency’s Citizenship and Integration Grant Program has assisted more than 19,000 permanent residents since its launch in October 2009.
“This important announcement embodies USCIS’s ongoing commitment to promote civic integration and citizenship among eligible permanent residents,” said USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas. “Recognizing the demand for high-quality citizenship preparation programs, this funding will provide greatly needed services to approximately 20,000 permanent residents striving to become U.S. citizens.”
Awards were granted through three competitive funding opportunities. The first provides funding for local citizenship instruction to prepare permanent residents for the civics and English (reading, writing and speaking) components of the naturalization test. The second supports citizenship instruction and naturalization application services within the scope of the authorized practice of immigration law. The third increases the capacity of members or affiliates of national organizations to provide citizenship preparation services in communities across the country.
The Citizenship and Integration Grant Program is part of a multifaceted effort to provide citizenship preparation resources, support, and information to immigrants and immigrant-serving organizations. USCIS complements this program with its Citizenship Resource Center, a Web-based portal that centralizes resources for immigrants, educators and organizations, and the Citizenship Public Education and Awareness Initiative, which was launched in May 2011.
This year’s announcement is part of USCIS’s celebration of Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, celebrated every Sept. 17 in honor of the signing of the U.S. Constitution in 1787. In 1952, President Harry Truman signed a bill formalizing the celebration of Citizenship Day. In 2004, Congress established Sept. 17 as Constitution Day and Citizenship Day.
For additional information on the Citizenship and Integration Grant Program, please visit www.uscis.gov/grants.