In 2011, CLINIC and seven national organizations received a multi-year and multi-state grant to increase the number of eligible Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) to become U.S. citizens by assisting them with the naturalization process through the development of innovative approaches and technologies and exchanging best practices.
Through the New Americans Campaign, CLINIC provides funding and technical assistance to seven local affiliate agencies to expand and strengthen their existing services in Brooklyn (NY), Charlotte (NC), Southeast Michigan, North Texas, Houston (TX), Los Angeles (CA), and Miami (FL). These local affiliates receive access to CLINIC’s expertise in naturalization and immigration law, including the immigration and information support line, reduced registration fees for trainings and the Annual Convening, free access to live and recorded webinars, and advocacy support.
To achieve the goal of motivating eligible LPRs to become U.S. citizens and assisting them with the process, each national partner will contribute its organizational strengths to build an integrated program that incorporates: advocacy; capacity building and training; collaboration among partner organizations, community-based organizations, and other stakeholders; media and communications; direct naturalization services; research; and innovative approaches and technology.
To learn more about NAC’s groundbreaking work to naturalize LPRs around the country, please read “The New Americans Campaign: Helping Immigrants Become U.S. Citizens,” by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.
Our Local Partners
Catholic Migration Services (CMS) was founded in 1971 as the first Diocesan agency in the U.S. to serve the needs of vulnerable immigrants in Brooklyn and Queens. CMS staff provides clients with a broad range of immigration legal services that include adjustment of legal status, attainment of U.S. citizenship, representation of asylum seekers, and family reunification assistance. Linea Laboral, a toll free bilingual workers' rights hotline, is operated by CMS in collaboration with the Mexican Consulate General in New York, the U.S. Department of Labor and the New York State Department of Labor. Clients come from at least 167 countries and CMS’ multilingual staff provides their services in Albanian, English, French, Haitian Creole, Italian, Spanish, and Greek.
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Charlotte (CCDOC) serves 16 counties in Western North Carolina through its main office in Asheville. CCDOC has an accredited Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) Immigration Program that provides high-quality services to over 1,000 low-income immigrants each year. In 2010, CCDOC assisted with 1,125 immigration cases, including consular processing, family-based petitions, and obtaining lawful permanent residency. Notably, CCDOC is the site leader for the local Charlotte collaborative.
Southeast Michigan has a long tradition of receiving immigrants born in each of the six major world regions and this migration pattern remains strong today. With qualitative dedication to both immigrants and refugees, Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan (CCSEM) offers a continuum of supportive services and legal assistance that helps individuals and families gain US Citizenship and actively integrate into communities spanning six counties. To further extend citizenship outreach and services to specific ethnic communities, CCSEM collaborates and builds long-standing relationships with municipalities, faith-based institutions, businesses and community organizations.
Centro Multicultural La Familia (CMLF) is a private nonprofit mission-drive organization located in Pontiac, Michigan that offers culturally and linguistically competent services in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, domestic violence, Early Head Start, Great Parents, Integrated Care or Medical Home in partnership with St. Joseph hospital, support and interpretation for pregnant women through its Centro de la Mujer program, and employment support services. CMLF recently joined the New Americans Campaign in 2013 and is a full member of the Detroit collaborative.
Catholic Charities has a fully accredited BIA Immigration and Legal Services (ILS) program that was established in 1975 to assist the growing immigrant population of North Texas. ILS attorneys and accredited staff provide services to clients that include family visa petitions, adjustment of status applications, naturalization services, and deportation representation. Recently, Catholic Charities was awarded a USCIS Citizenship and Integration grant to provide both educational services and direct legal services to citizenship applicants. Catholic Charities is also the site leader for the local Dallas collaborative, and received a national grant from USCIS to extend direct citizenship services to LPRs living in the Dallas area.
Catholic Charities Diocese of Fort Worth (CCFW) provides legal assistance to individuals who are eligible to apply for immigration benefits. The agency’s focus is the reunification of families through immigration by offering services that include personal consultation, application assistance, and legal representation for our clients in matters of petition for alien relatives, adjustment of status, consular processes, naturalization, work permits, visa renewal, and other related areas of family-based immigration. CCFW helps qualified individuals apply for naturalization and certificates of citizenship. CCFW recently joined the New Americans Campaign in 2013. While the agency is located in Fort Worth, CCFW is a full partner in the Dallas collaborative.
The St. Frances Cabrini Center for Immigrant Legal Assistance (“Cabrini Center”) became a program of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston in 1986. In 2010, Cabrini Center assisted with filing over 1,000 applications for lawful permanent residents seek naturalization. Cabrini Center is dedicated to providing high quality, low-cost and pro bono legal services to immigrants and refugees who would otherwise not be able to obtain legal representation. Its activities include outreach, legal assessment and counseling, citizenship application assistance, legal representation and advocacy. Cabrini Center is the largest non-profit immigration legal service provider in Houston accredited by the Board of Immigration Appeals to represent individuals in immigration legal matters. Free citizenship workshops are offered each month and staff provides citizenship application assistance.
Catholic Charities of Los Angeles, Inc.
Since World War II, Catholic Charities of Los Angeles has served newly-arrived immigrants and refugees by assisting them in learning English-as-a-Second Language (ESL) and understanding American social norms, training them for jobs, and helping them to legalize their residency and obtain U.S. citizenship through naturalization. Catholic Charities has a diverse clientele that have emigrated from Latin America, Southeast Asia, China, Iraq, Iran, Haiti, and Ethiopia. A recipient of the California Community Foundation grant, Catholic Charities will expand its naturalization services and open immigration services offices in the underserved areas of South Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Valley.
Catholic Legal Services (CCLS) serves a diverse population in the Miami-Dade County that encompasses Downtown Miami, Coral Gables, and Aventura. Staff members from CLS conduct presentations on naturalization and citizenship at three adult education centers throughout Miami and target immigrants from Haiti, Central America, Venezuela, and Cuba. CCLS has also joined efforts with the Archdiocese’s Cambia tu Vida initiative by reaching out to local public and private educational institutions, churches, local businesses, and other entities, to offer immigration legal services, completion and submission of USCIS forms, and citizenship classes to eligible lawful permanent residents seeking naturalization. Notably, CCLS is the site leader for the local Miami collaborative.
The Carlos A. Costa Immigration and Human Rights Clinic at Florida International University College of Law is a one-semester clinic that intervenes on behalf of vulnerable immigrants of all nationalities in a variety of settings. Student attorneys represent refugees seeking asylum in the United States as a result of political persecution in their countries of origin; Cuban and Haitian nationals seeking relief under country-specific immigration legislation; immigrant workers who have been victims of wage theft; and other vulnerable populations, such as abused spouses and children, unaccompanied minors, and aliens subject to immigration detention. Most recently, the Clinic has worked with the New Americans Campaign to provide legal assistance for individuals in south Florida seeking to become U.S. citizens. The Clinic provides assistance through weekend clinics and individual appointments during the week with student attorneys. Located in Miami, the Clinic is a member of the Miami collaborative.
Florida Immigrant Coalition (FLIC) is a statewide immigrant rights organization that advocates for the fair treatment of everyone, and is composed of 30 member organizations and over 100 allies, who are grassroots and community organizations, farm workers, youth, advocates, legal service providers, unions and others. FLIC’s mission is to amplify the power of immigrant communities to impact the root causes of inequality, defending and protecting basic human rights, including the right to live without fear.
FLIC’s citizenship program, Florida New Americans, aims to provide full integration for Florida's largest immigrant communities, advance immigrant rights, and promote active citizenship among New Americans. As a part of this program, FLIC has already provided free assistance for more than 1000 legal permanent residents to apply for naturalization. FLIC also assists with Temporary Protected Status and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals as well as various immigration benefits through their membership. Located in Miami, FLIC is a member of the Miami collaborative.
CLINIC Project Resources
La Ciudadanía: Cambia Tu Vida - In 2012, CLINIC launched its first professional multimedia campaign known as La Ciudadanía: Cambia Tu Vida (Citizenship: It Changes Your Life). The initiative, in partnership with Catholic Charities of Los Angeles, strives to motivate the 1.2 million legal permanent residents in Los Angeles to become U.S. citizens through an eclectic package of television, radio, and print public service announcements. CLINIC also launched the campaign in Spanish and Haitian-Creole in Miami, Florida in April 2013 in partnership with the Archdiocese of Miami, and plans to bring Cambia tu Vida to other New Americans Campaign cities.
Volunteers Helping Immigrants Become U.S. Citizens: The Naturalization Group Application Workshop - This free course educates people about basic naturalization law and the naturalization group application workshop model. The course takes approximately 40 minutes to an hour to complete.
How to Plan and Implement a Mega-Workshop - This webinar educates charitable immigration legal staff on the unique differences of planning and implementing a large, "mega" group application workshop for naturalization and deferred action.
Workbook for Planning a Mega Workshop – This curriculum was created by CLINIC staff for the first hands on “mega” group application workshop hosted by Catholic Charities of Los Angeles at the Mid-Valley Regional Branch Library in North Hills, California.
Citizenship for Us: A Handbook on Naturalization & Citizenship 6th Edition - Citizenship for Us is a comprehensive guide to the naturalization process that provides detailed information on citizenship eligibility, requirements, and benefits and a step-by-step explanation of the N-400 (Application for Naturalization). The guide includes 13 study units on U.S. history and civics, historic photos, timelines, a sample naturalization interview, and a chapter on civic participation. It is geared for immigrants, community leaders, ESL teachers, and other non-attorneys.
Citizenship and Civic Participation Toolkit - This toolkit contains a number of resources on citizenship and civic participation.
Toolkit for Naturalization Workshops - This toolkit is designed to help charitable immigration programs achieve a successful workshop. The forms and sample documents can be used as is or adapted by local programs for their own needs.
Managing an Immigration Program: Steps for Creating and Increasing Legal Capacity - This manual describes best practices used by many of the country's most experienced nonprofit immigration programs and managers.
Group Application Workshop Model - This webinar aims to promote the effective use of the group application workshop model to expand the availability of charitable legal immigration services, principally for naturalization but also for other purposes, including legalization application processing.
"Mega" Group Application Workshop - This webinar educates charitable immigration legal staff on the unique differences of planning and implementing a large, "mega" group application workshop serving 250 or more people for naturalization, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and future comprehensive immigration reform.
USCIS Guide to Naturalization - U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) created this Guide to provide better and more consistent information to people interested in naturalization.
USCIS Citizenship Public Education and Awareness Initiative - USCIS strives to promote awareness of the rights, responsibilities, and importance of obtaining U.S. citizenship, and the free naturalization preparation resources available to LPRs and immigrant-serving organization
The New Americans Campaign
We are proud to be part of The New Americans Campaign, an unprecedented national effort that is paving a better path to citizenship and helping legal residents achieve their dream of becoming American citizens. We are a nonpartisan network of community leaders and foundations, launching a campaign to modernize the system of naturalization assistance and to help more legal permanent immigrants become U.S. citizens.
Because when new Americans gain the rights, freedoms and responsibilities of citizenship, they also contribute more fully to the vitality of our communities and our democracy as a whole.
“The Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) is proud to be a part of The New Americans Campaign,” said Donald Kerwin, CLINIC’s Acting Executive Director. “Our network of more than 200 community-based legal service providers is strongly committed to expanding high-quality citizenship services. This unique partnership will significantly strengthen the capacity of charitable immigration agencies throughout the nation and will enable hundreds of thousands of lawful permanent residents to take the next step towards full and active membership in our nation.”
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