The Biden administration is expected to launch a government-wide effort to make up to 9 million immigrants living in the U.S. citizens, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced Friday.
President Joe Biden asked federal agencies to work on “welcoming strategies that promote integration, inclusion, and citizenship,” through an executive order, according to CNN. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the agency’s plan to “breaking down barriers to U.S. citizenship” and promote naturalization for immigrants who are eligible.
“The idea is to find a whole-of-government way to reach out to people who are able to naturalize,” a USCIS official reportedly told CNN. The official said there are around 9 million immigrants living in the U.S. as lawful permanent residents who could be eligible for citizenship.
The USCIS strategy, “Interagency Strategy for Promoting Naturalization,” includes placing promotional material at U.S. Postal Service facilities, having naturalization ceremonies at national parks and working with the Department of Veterans Affairs and other veterans organizations to educate them on citizenship, CNN reported.
“USCIS remains committed to empowering immigrants to pursue citizenship along with the rights and opportunities that come with it,” USCIS Acting Director Tracy Renaud said in a statement. “There is no greater testament to the strength of America than our willingness to encourage others to join us as U.S. citizens as we work together to build a more perfect union.”
Other administrations have promoted naturalization but the Biden administration has asked other federal agencies to work with the USCIS, the unnamed USCIS official reportedly told CNN.
“Becoming a United States citizen is a tremendous privilege,” Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement. “New citizens, strengthened with the power and responsibilities that American citizenship brings, make our Nation better. This strategy will ensure that aspiring citizens are able to pursue naturalization through a clear and coordinated process.”
Biden plans to attend a naturalization ceremony Friday, according to CNN. Over 9,400 other people are expected to be naturalized in more than 100 other ceremonies from June 30 through July 7.
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