New initiative to increase U.S. citizenship
Posted by Ben McAdams
August 23, 2018
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Today I joined partners in the faith, government, business, and education sectors to launch the new United for Citizenship effort. The new program is geared towards the 22,000 permanent legal residents living in Salt Lake County - with the goal to help them become U.S. citizens.
There are many benefits that come with citizenship, including better education opportunities, easier travel, and access to more jobs. Those who are naturalized also increase their earning potential by 10 percent - that’s money that can be put back into our local economy, helping it to grow. Unfortunately, eligible residents encounter barriers to gaining U.S. citizenship, such as a lack of information, a confusing process, tough English and civic tests, and expensive fees.
Understanding these benefits and barriers is what shaped United for Citizenship. Using a two-pronged approach we are: (1) making information about resources such as legal and language help, more easily available; and (2) enlisting the help of others in the community to participate. Our new website at unitedforcitizenship.org is a one-stop-shop where residents can find resources to become U.S. citizens, and where business and nonprofit organizations can sign up to join the effort.
My hope is that those who are eligible for citizenship will take that first step; and that those who started but then got stuck, will take that next step.
There are so many community partners supporting and working on United for Citizenship. Together we welcome immigrants and recognize the contributions immigrants make in our community. It is with this broad support that we will share the American Dream with so many of our friends and neighbors.
News conference to launch United for Citizenship
Organizations represented at the launch:
Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
Utah State Legislature: Senators Jani Iwamoto & Curtis Bramble
Salt Lake Chamber & Downtown Alliance
Salt Lake Community College
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