â€” On its fourth anniversary, the New Americans Campaign launches a new site in Seattle. It joins the growing list of campaign sites across the country that promote naturalization for the 8.8 million lawful permanent residents in the U.S. who are eligible.
Seattle is the 17th site to join the New Americans Campaign, an innovative partnership with legal-service providers, faith-based organizations, businesses, foundations and community leaders that helps aspiring Americans overcome barriers and achieve citizenship. OneAmerica and Asian Counseling and Referral Service (ACRS) will lead the Seattle site.
â€œOneAmerica is pleased to partner with ACRS in joining the New Americans Campaign,â€ says Rich Stolz, executive director of OneAmerica. â€œNaturalization strengthens our democracy and brings tangible benefits to individuals and their communities. This partnership builds on the innovative work of the Washington New Americans program, which organizes free citizenship clinics throughout the state and provides support to community-based organizations that reflect the full diversity of Washingtonâ€™s immigrant communities.â€
â€œAsian Americans and Pacific Islanders are the fastest-growing racial minority group, locally and nationally, fueled by both migration and immigration,â€ says Diane Narasaki, executive director of Asian Counseling and Referral Service. â€œCitizenship provides a path for people to participate fully in our community and is at the very heart of our nationâ€™s values. ACRS, one of the largest naturalization services providers in Washington state, is pleased to partner with OneAmerica in support of all who seek our services.â€
The Wallace H. Coulter Foundation has provided funding and a matching grant challenge for the new site. Additional funding for the New Americans Campaign comes from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, the Grove Foundation and the JPB Foundation.
â€œCivic engagement of Asian communities is very important to the nation, and naturalization is the first step in achieving it,â€ says Sue Van, chief executive officer and president of the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation. â€œWeâ€™re proud to be instrumental in bringing the New Americans Campaign to Seattle.â€
Since July 2011, New Americans Campaign sites and affiliated collaborations completed more than 155,000 naturalization applications for lawful permanent residents through more than 2,500 naturalization workshops and clinics.
â€œNaturalization is beneficial for individuals, families and whole communities,â€ says Eric Cohen, executive director of the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, which leads the New Americans Campaign. â€œWeâ€™re excited to bring the New Americans Campaign to Seattle and to bring more legal services and naturalization support to the approximately 111,000 citizenship-eligible lawful permanent residents that now call the Seattle area home.â€