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Managing an Immigration Program: Steps for Creating and Increasing Legal Capacity

A More Perfect Union: A National Citizenship Plan

The United States is a nation of immigrants united by a common creed and shared values. With 37 million foreign born residents, the United States’ strength and vitality depends on the contributions of its newest members. However, the integration of a population of this magnitude and diversity cannot be assumed. The pressing policy question becomes: what can be done to promote the integration of this record number of immigrants? A More Perfect Union: A National Citizenship Plan proposes a national program to naturalize the eight million immigrants who – based on their years as Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) – may qualify to naturalize, as well as the millions more who will become eligible in the near future.1 Citizenship is a significant marker of immigrant integration and a pre-condition to full membership in our constitutional democracy. As a practical matter, naturalization involves immigrants in a range of integration activities. Yet despite its benefits, the United States does surprisingly little to promote this process. In theory, we want eligible immigrants to naturalize, but in practice we do little to encourage or assist them.

 

A More Perfect Union: A National Citizenship Plan setsforth the resources, activities, and partnerships that would be required to naturalize as many eligible immigrants as possible. It calls for a national mobilization in support of citizenship, identifying the roles of government, immigrant service agencies, and other sectors of society in a coordinated plan. It describes a program that could serve as the linchpin of an emerging U.S. immigrant integration strategy.

 

To download the full report - CLICK HERE

 

CHAPTERS:

CHAPTER 1: THE NEED FOR A NATIONAL CITIZENSHIP PLAN

CHAPTER 2: THE INFRASTRUCTURE OF A NATIONAL CITIZENSHIP PLAN

CHAPTER 3: THE NATURALIZATION APPLICATION PROCESS

CHAPTER 4: BARRIERS & CHALLENGES POSED BY USCIS IN THE NATURALIZATION PROCESS

CHAPTER 5: SYSTEMIC BARRIERS TO CITIZENSHIP THAT CONGRESS CAN ADDRESS

CHAPTER 6: THE CITIZENSHIP TEST

CHAPTER 7: PREPARING IMMIGRANT LEARNERS FOR CITIZENSHIP

CHAPTER 8: CHARACTERISTICS OF A SUCCESSFUL LOCAL CITIZENSHIP PLAN

CHAPTER 9: NATURALIZATION GROUP APPLICATION WORKSHOPS

CHAPTER 10: RECENT NATURALIZATION AND CITIZENSHIP PROJECTS - LESSONS LEARNED FOR A NATIONAL CITIZENSHIP PROGRAM

CHAPTER 11: SECTORS OF SOCIETY SUPPORTING A NATIONAL CITIZENSHIP PROGRAM

CHAPTER 12: COMMENTARIES

 

CLINIC’s Advocacy Guide: How We Can Help You

 

CLINIC's Advocacy Guide

CLINIC wants to remind members of how its Advocacy Section can provide support and assistance.  This document outlines the advocacy related services CLINIC can provide as well as the channels through which CLINIC works with officials at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to resolve individual case and systemic problems. 

CLINIC relies on input from its affiliates to help identify problematic trends and policies of the federal government.  Please remember to share individual case stories and reports of inappropriate or problematic policies that you encounter in your work.  Bring issues to the attention of CLINIC’s Advocacy Director, Allison Posner at aposner@cliniclegal.org or (301) 565-4831, at any time. Information from you is crucial to CLINIC’s ability to advocate for improvements that benefit the individuals served by CLINIC’s network.

 

CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION: HOW CLINIC’S ADVOCACY SECTION CAN HELP                            

USCIS ISSUES AND CASES                                                                                                  

  • Systemic or General Policy Issues                                                                              
  • Inquiries on Cases Pending at USCIS Service Centers                                                

ICE AND CBP ISSUES AND CASES                                                                                     

  • Enforcement-Related Problems                                                                                              
  • Alternatives to Detention                                                                                            
  • ICE Detention Standard Violations                                                                             
  • Other DHS Enforcement Issues                                                                                              
  • Documenting Cases/Violations to Raise with ICE/CBP                                                           

MEDIA ADVOCACY                                                                                                            

SUPPORT ON STATE/LOCAL IMMIGRATION MEASURES                                                            

LITIGATION                                                                                                                          

 

 

 

Programs: 

Estimates of the Size and Demography of the Undocumented on-Citizen Population in U.S. Catholic Dioceses, 2013

In 2013, the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) commissioned the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University to complete a study estimating the size, characteristics, and geographic distribution of the U.S. undocumented (i.e., non-citizens who are not temporary migrants such as students, diplomats, short-term visitors, etc., those who are legal permanent residents, or refugees or asylees). This is similar to a study conducted by CARA for CLINIC in 2006 using 2005 data. CARA used current data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Homeland Security Office of Immigration Statistics to create “residual” estimates of the undocumented population by diocese, the geography of the Catholic Church in the United States, which was compiled with state and county-level data and estimates. The research provides profiles to assist CLINIC in their mission to provide assistance to immigrants in need of legal representation and advice.

Click here to view the study.

Citizenship for Us: A Handbook on Naturalization & Citizenship 6th Edition

Price: $40.00

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.

Hard copies are also available for $40.

INTRODUCTION & TABLE OF CONTENTS

CHAPTER ONE: The Citizenship Decision

CHAPTER TWO: Citizenship Requirements

CHAPTER THREE: Overview of the Process

CHAPTER FOUR: Filling out the N-400

CHAPTER FIVE: The Citizenship Test Study Guide

CHAPTER SIX: The Interview

CHAPTER SEVEN: The Disability Waiver and Accommodations

CHAPTER EIGHT: Citizenship for Children

CHAPTER NINE: The Naturalization Oath Ceremony

CHAPTER TEN: Now That You Are A Citizen

CHAPTER ELEVEN: Practicing Citizenship

 

Issues: 
Resources by type: 

Citizenship for Elders: Issues and Options in Test Preparation, 2nd Edition (2012)

Citizenship for Elders is a unique handbook for teachers and administrators on creating and managing a citizenship program for the older learner.  This handbook brings together the observations and insights of teachers from across the country on older learners from a wide range of cultures.  It is based on a nationwide survey of 200 programs.  It identifies the issues in teaching elders and makes recommendations for instruction and program design.  The recommendations are practice-based, with a focus on innovative and promising practices.  The suggestions on learning activities, cultural considerations for the classroom, and strategies to address common health issues will be particularly helpful to teachers.  CLINIC hopes this free handbook will help service providers strengthen their programs and assist many more elders to secure their future in the U.S. by becoming citizens.

Click Here to View "Citizenship for Elders"

Thinking About Case Management

The design and implementation of immigration case management systems will vary among immigration programs since every program is different.  However, a program whose case management system works for staff members and meets the needs of clients are the most effective.  Such system takes into account the population served, types of services offered, level and experience of staff, agency’s mission and financial situation to name a few.   For organizations providing VAWA immigration services, you need to consider additional factors in your case management system for handling VAWA cases.  This may include more time for intakes, interviews and application preparation, a process for collaborating with domestic violence providers to provide application support and include additional confidentiality measures to protect the client, client information and the staff.  Such confidentiality measures may include having a separate interview room for VAWA clients, locking VAWA cases in a separate filing cabinet and limiting access of VAWA cases to those who are working on them, prohibiting staff from taking VAWA cases outside of the office other than for interviews and hearings and literally having an exit strategy for staff if the abuser came to the office.  Some of this is discussed in the article, “Considerations for Immigration Programs Working on VAWA Self-Petitions and U Visa Cases” listed below.  

Although there are differences among agencies in their case management policies and procedures, every agency should have certain case management components that are essential and non-negotiable. This applies to all agencies regardless of its size, age or type of services offered.

Whether you are developing or revising your existing case management system, a good starting point is to review the major components of immigration case management system.   The documents below especially the chapter from CLINIC’s Managing an Immigration Program manual entitled, “Case Management Systems” provides a good overview of the major components of case management system.  Hopefully, the resources below will help your office develop a case management system rooted in best practices.   

Preparing for Comprehensive Immigration Reform: An Earned Pathway to Citizenship & Beyond

CLINIC has updated its 2006 Legalization Manual.

The manual, Preparing for Comprehensive Immigration Reform: An Earned Pathway to Citizenship and Beyond offers recommendations from “veterans” of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA).   The manual was created to help charitable immigration agencies increase program capacity and prepare for a large increase in the number of people needing immigration services. Its recommendations are offered to spur thinking and planning by these programs. As IRCA taught us, a “one size fits all” approach cannot succeed since the needs and circumstances of programs vary. It is hoped that the manual will enable programs to develop the policies and practices that are best suited to the circumstances of their programs and communities.

This manual is not intended to be used to create immigration legal service programs. For those interested in learning how to start an immigration legal service program, please refer to Immigration Management: Building Blocks for a Successful Program (“Immigration Management”) by CLINIC, the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS), and Immigration and Refugee Services of America.

Preparing for Comprehensive Immigration Reform: An Earned Parthway to Citizenship and Beyond begins with a summary or check list of recommendations. It then provides an extensive narrative that elaborates on these recommendations. 

To download the entire manual, click here.

MEMBER RESOURCES:

CLINIC has developed a proposal document to help its affiliates apply for funding related to immigration and specifically Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR).  To view these documents, please log in and click on the links below.

Proposal Template

Worksheet - Objectives, Activities and Timeline

Strategies for Naturalizing the Most Vulnerable Applicants Handbook

Refugees and immigrants strongly desire U.S. citizenship. Yet, many of them, especially those who are elderly, disabled, low-income, low-literate, and limited English proficient, face serious challenges in the naturalization process. These challenges can impede their integration and their civic participation in U.S. society.

This handbooks outlines strategies for helping these particular populations naturalize.

Issues: 

At-Risk Reports

In 2000-2001, CLINIC published a series of reports on immigration issues based on numerous case studies. These are not current reports.

The reports identify, track, and examine the impact of our nation's laws and immigration policies on at-risk immigrants. They illustrate particularly compelling problems faced by immigrants, clear explanations of the law at the root of such problems, and other research.

To order hardcopies of these reports, please complete this form and mail a $10 check or money order to CLINIC, 415 Michigan Ave. NE, Suite 200, Washington DC 20017.