"The task of welcoming immigrants, refugees and displaced persons into full participation in the Church and society with equal rights and duties continues the biblical understanding of the justice of God reaching out to all peoples and rectifying the situation of the poor, the orphans, the widows, the disadvantaged, and especially in the Old Testament, the alien and the stranger."
— Together a New People: Pastoral Statement on Migrants and Refugees. National Conference of Catholic Bishops, 1986
THE NEED: The strength of the United States depends in part on its inclusiveness and the integration of its immigrant families. Newcomers need legal, social and educational assistance to guide them through the complex process of obtaining citizenship.
CLINIC’S RESPONSE: CLINIC administers the nation’s largest program of legal and educational services for citizenship applicants, currently operating in 17 cities with large immigrant populations. It advocates nationally for fair, high-quality and affordable immigration services for all newcomers.
In the past five years, CLINIC and its network of member agencies have guided tens of thousands of immigrants and refugees on the journey towards citizenship.
CLINIC and its member agencies focus their citizenship outreach and legal service efforts on the most vulnerable and disenfranchised immigrant populations.More than 40,000 elderly, low-income, low-literate, disabled and persecuted newcomers have achieved citizenship through CLINIC’s projects. As a result, these new citizens are experiencing newfound freedom, economic security and a political voice.
In 2002, CLINIC citizenship projects produced more than 4,000 consultations, 1,884 citizenship applications, 3,800 permanent resident (green card) applications, and more than 7,500 hours of English language and citizenship-test preparation.
CLINIC also promotes citizenship through:
- advanced naturalization training to nonprofit immigration counselors;
- national advocacy with government immigration authorities;
- public education through local media outlets; and
- publications, including Citizenship for Us: A Handbook on Naturalization & Citizenship which was distributed to more than 1,000 agencies in 2002.
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