U.S. Rep. Maria Salazar this week celebrated the second graduating class of the Republican Civics Initiative, a GOP program designed to help Hispanic legal immigrants pass the U.S. citizenship exam.
At an event in Doral on Wednesday, the Miami Republican praised the graduates for taking this step on the journey to join the “American family.”
“Hispanics are God-fearing, family-oriented, we are law-abiding, and we are definitely not socialists,” Salazar told the class, according to a statement the Republican Party released to The Free Press. “Today, these values are only found in the Republican Party, which has opened its doors to the largest minority in the country.”
The graduates were primarily former Cubans who escaped that nation’s communist regime.
“Without a doubt, assisting them throughout the process of becoming American citizens is a great responsibility, but also a source of great pride,” Salazar added. “We are American patriots helping Hispanics who have decided to pledge allegiance to the Constitution and become part of the American family.”
In addition to celebrating this milestone, the graduates and the Republican National Committee representatives used the occasion to collect supplies — such as diapers, canned food, water and other essentials — from community members for residents of southwest Floridians who were devastated by Hurricane Ian.
GOP leaders see the Republican Civics Initiative as a tool to engage Hispanic lawful permanent residents, or LPRs, who are working toward completing the exam to become naturalized citizens.
The federal government says more than 9.2 million LPRs were eligible to become American citizens as of January 2021.
The Republican National Committee sees teaching these soon-to-be citizens U.S. history and civics as beneficial to both sides.
It helps the LPRs further their goal of becoming citizens while providing the RNC an opportunity to grow the Republican Party with a pivotal, and increasing, voter demographic.
“The Republican National Committee has heavily invested in Florida and continuously works to meet voters wherever they may be, and it shows,” RNC spokeswoman Julia Friedland told The Free Press.