Citizenship Toolkit

 

Does your nonprofit agency want to develop a legal immigration program, but lack attorneys on staff or the money to hire them?

Newly updated in 2015, CLINIC’s study guide for the U.S. citizenship test explains the naturalization testing requirements and contains 13 study units on U.S. history and civics with many colorful and historic photos and illustrations, as well as maps, diagrams, and timelines. It includes a glossary of vocabulary words and test review questions for each unit. There are also discussion questions for each unit, and additional, optional study questions to amplify the content. It is designed for both classroom use and for self-study.

The Center for Immigrant Integration seeks to encourage the development of immigrant integration initiatives throughout its network through the creation of resources and trainings and through the dissemination of best practices currently present in CLINIC affiliate agencies. CLINIC believes that efforts to promote immigrant integration are most successful at the local level.

This toolkit is intended to facilitate the process of designing and/or improving the case management system in your immigration program.  In a legal immigration context, case management system consists of: policies and procedures; forms; a database; and files used by legal representatives in a standardized manner for the purposes of delivering professional services and avoiding errors that can result in malpractice and liability.

Happy, diverse people waving American flags

CLINIC is updating this self directed e-learning course to reflect form changes by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. CLINIC anticipates the updated course will be available for use by September 30, 2016. In the meantime, you may continue to access the older version of the course

 

CLINIC has created a self directed e-learning course to help train new immigration legal staff and volunteers on completing Form N-400, Application for Naturalization. The course is interactive and incorporates text, images, audio, and video along with opportunities for the participant to check his or her progress in the course through quizzes and a final test. At the end of the course participants may complete a course evaluation. Participants who successfully complete the final test and then complete the course evaluation will receive a certificate of course completion.

By Tessa W. McKenzie

Our commitment to supporting newcomers is personal and at CLINIC, we are inspired by friends who have overcome numerous obstacles to become naturalized US citizens.  Saba Hailu is one such friend, who journeyed from aspiring citizen to new American.  Saba’s determination strengthens our resolve to ensure that the foreign-born have access to opportunities for citizenship and civic participation.

Immigration is personal; it impacts all of us. That message resonated throughout the Cambia tu Vida launch. In immigration there is no “us” and “them.” As many speakers expressed: we are all in this together, we are here to help, and we are part of this community.

As we celebrate our country’s birthday and independence on the Fourth of July, many of us will contemplate what it means to be Americans. Being an American for the foreign-born goes beyond the ability to vote in elections or obtain a U.S. passport. Many immigrants already feel American at heart long before they take their first step to becoming naturalized U.S. citizens – a pre-requisite to vote and obtain a passport. Many of them have integrated into their communities long before – going to weekly church services, volunteering in their children’s schools, and paying their taxes.

The Midwest has a history as a gateway for immigrants even if not as heralded as port cities in the east and west. Think of Chicago with its diverse ethnic population as early as the late 1800’s, especially among Eastern Europeans, that continues today with the largest Bosnian refugee population in the country. Think also of Detroit, Motor City, at the turn of the last century when Ford Motor Company attracted immigrant workers from Southern Europe and the Middle East to build the earliest automobiles. Detroit now has the largest Middle Eastern population in the United States, most recently welcoming tens of thousands of Iraqi refugees.

Since its inception two hundred years ago, the story of the Archdiocese of New York is an immigrant story – a tradition which continues today. For more than 30 years, the Archdiocese of New York has provided services to the foreign-born, including refugee resettlement and immigration legal services, through Catholic Charities Community Services (CCCS). As the immigrant and refugee population in the area has grown and changed, so has CCCS.

Each year on September 17, we come together as a nation of immigrants to celebrate Citizenship Day. This is an opportunity to reflect on the meaning of being a U.S. citizen and recognize the many lawful permanent residents (LPRs) in our communities who are on their journey to becoming U.S. citizens.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Maura Moser, Director of Communications

(301) 565-4830 or Email: mmoser@cliniclegal.org

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. 

On February 4, 2014, USCIS released its long-awaited revision of the Form N-400 (Application for Naturalization). A draft of the new form was published in the Federal Register for comment on December 20, 2012 and again on March 20, 2013. CLINIC submitted comments on the draft together with the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) on February 15, 2013. The comments are posted on the CLINIC website at https://cliniclegal.org/resources/revisions-to-application-for-naturaliz....

CLINIC's National Capacity Building Project, funded by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Office of Citizenship, has provided technical assistance and funding to four local affiliate agencies to establish new programs in English as a Second Language (ESL)/citizenship education and/or naturalization application assistance.

On Election Day, it can seem like a burden to wake up early and stand in line at your local polling place, but the ability to vote is a prized benefit of citizenship and an important step in the journey to full integration in the United States. The benefits of citizenship are numerous and the CLINIC network has long advocated naturalization for all eligible permanent residents.

CLINIC is working hard to bring new players into the immigration and naturalization service mix to supplement the substantial but inadequate resources that exist now.

A naturalization group application workshop is a one-day community event that brings professionals and trained volunteers together to assist Lawful Permanent Residents in completing the Application for Naturalization (N-400). The workshop is an essential tool for efficiently and effectively providing naturalization assistance to large numbers of people. The success of the workshop model depends on careful planning, thorough training of staff and volunteers, and high quality services. The purpose of this toolkit is to help charitable immigration programs achieve a successful workshop.

Citizenship Day (September 17) is an opportunity to celebrate the importance of U.S. citizenship and to recognize the new Americans who once immigrated to the U.S. from all corners of the world.

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.

There are several ways to establish a partnership and many tools to use that can help organize and manage the operations. This toolkit includes sample materials for managing a partnership, guidelines for working within a partnership, and tips on what to look for in a potential partner.

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Low English language proficiency impacts employee productivity, safety, and retention. Federal and state governments provide only a fraction of the funding needed for English language classes, and businesses have both the space and the financial means to offer this benefit to their Limited English Proficient workers. CLINIC offers the following resource to programs interested in pursuing partnerships with local employers willing to offer English language classes to their employees.  The Creating a Workplace ELL Program toolkit includes program planning documents, examples of currently operating workplace ELL programs, sample marketing materials, and other resources to assist in implementing a workplace ELL program. 

June was an important month for a small group of Washington D.C.’s residents. On June 6, 2013, at a public library in Mt. Pleasant, 20 immigrants from 11 different countries became U.S. citizens.

Many tasks in an immigration legal services program can be completed by volunteers. Using volunteers when possible frees up staff time that can be devoted to offering more services to clients. This toolkit contains helpful information on how best to use volunteers in your program, how to recruit and retain volunteers, and how to incorporate them into your program’s plan for the passage of Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Sample forms are included as well as sample volunteer job descriptions.

On Saturday May 4, 2013, nearly 150 immigrants and their families from all over the world trekked to southern Los Angeles County and eagerly waited in line for their chance to take the crucial next step to becoming an American citizen.

On Saturday May 4, 2013, nearly 150 immigrants and their families from all over the world trekked to southern Los Angeles County and eagerly waited in line for their chance to take the crucial next step to becoming an American citizen. The huge Inglewood church quickly filled with the sounds of many languages, from Spanish to Vietnamese to Hindi, as volunteers and immigrant service providers smoothly filtered and ushered groups of eligible legal permanent residents through a step by step journey through the naturalization process.

With Citizenship Day on September 17th, I would like to reflect on my experience working with a national multi-organizational initiative to encourage the country's lawful permanent residents (LPR) to become U.S. citizens. In every facet of society, immigrants are integral members in the economy and the political discourse. With this in mind, CLINIC has pursued steps to reach the approximate 8 million LPRs who are eligible to become citizens.

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.

Citizenship test preparation and quality legal services go hand in hand in assisting an immigrant along the path to citizenship. A prospective bill for comprehensive immigration reform will most likely bring changes in legal and language requirements for citizenship. It is the job of all legal service providers and teaching professionals working with the foreign born to anticipate these requirements and prepare clients in advance. The Creating a Citizenship Program Preparation Toolkit will be helpful to anyone seeking ways to better serve the foreign born as they prepare to naturalize.

The translations listed here were completed by USCIS and community organizations throughout the country. For translations completed by community organizations, the organization's contact information is included on the translation.

Created by Mosaica: The Center for Nonprofit Development & Pluralism in partnership with Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. under a project funded by the Office of Refugee Resettlement, “Technical Assistance to Promote Refugee Citizenship & Civic Participation.” This
guide was developed through a collaboration between Mosaica and the Temple University Center for Intergenerational Learning’s “Civic Engagement for All” initiative. It is a companion piece to a webinar conducted on March 9, 2009. The webinar presented a report by the

The purpose of this guide is to assist organizations that represent, serve, and advocate for refugees1 to think through various approaches to increasing civic participation in refugee communities, and to choose approaches and strategies that will work best for them. It provides
an overview of civic participation definitions, offers example of successful approaches, and identifies barriers to civic participation for refugees. Lastly, it offers suggestions for where to start, including questions to ask in planning a civic participation effort.

 

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.