CLINIC Supports USCIS’ New Initiatives on Citizenship Awareness and Unauthorized Practice of Law
By: Laura Burdick
On May 25, USCIS launched its Citizenship Public Education and Awareness Initiative. The initiative promotes an awareness of citizenship and seeks to prepare immigrants for successful citizenship. It will use digital media, a video public service announcement, and print and radio messages in a variety of languages to direct individuals to citizenship preparation materials and other training and educational resources available through USCIS’ Citizenship Resource Center. CLINIC encourages its affiliates to support this important initiative by utilizing USCIS’ outreach materials and messages, and by referring immigrants to the Citizenship Resource Center. CLINIC has a long history of providing citizenship services in partnership with its local affiliates and resources to expand and improve naturalization and citizenship services. CLINIC’s citizenship resources include a webpage , a toolkit for organizing naturalization workshops, trainings, and two handbooks, "Citizenship for Us" and "Strategies for Naturalizing the Most Vulnerable Applicants."
USCIS’ public education initiative to combat the unauthorized practice of immigration law was launched on June 9. This initiative provides information for immigrants, community organizations, and legal service providers on how to avoid becoming a victim of immigration fraud; how to report immigration scams and find authorized legal help; and how to obtain immigration legal representation through charitable organizations authorized by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). Through its mission of enhancing and expanding the delivery of legal services to low-income immigrants, CLINIC has helped over 150 organizations to obtain BIA recognition and accreditation. CLINIC’s capacity building section provides in-depth assistance with the BIA application processes well as trainings and consultations on program management issues. Forty-six percent of all BIA accredited representatives belong to agencies that CLINIC has assisted or with which it has partnered.
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