National Immigration Forum

Practical Solutions for Immigrants and America


The Bethlehem Project offers employers a free service that helps them support their employees who are eligible for citizenship. Our business partners and participants receive mutual benefits by joining.

At The Betsy Hotel - South Beach, General Manager Jeff Lehman and HR Director Nilmarie Almovodar pose with Yolanda Oruc, center, an employee who became a citizen through The Betsy’s partnership with the Bethlehem Project. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

Benefits to Business

  • Celebrates the diversity in your company’s workforce
  • Builds employee recruitment, loyalty and retention
  • Creates inclusive work culture and aids productivity
  • Generates goodwill amid a growing foreign-born consumer demographic in a global market
  • Creates positive publicity opportunities (if desired)

Benefits for Participants

  • Builds ability to realize the American Dream and invest in their families, communities and economy
  • Allows individual civic engagement through voting and running
    for office
  • Grants freedom of travel with a U.S. passport and opportunity
    for family reunification
  • Provides low to moderate income participants with access to
    deeply discounted legal fees and employer support

Join the Bethlehem Project

How it works:

  1. Free: We are funded, in large part, by the New Americans Campaign, so this program is offered Free to our business partners. In addition to being free for business, this offers free services to your employees, saving them nearly $2,000 of legal fees out of pocket.
  2. Easy Implementation: In each city, we have a local site-coordinator who does all the ground work for each business partner so this will not take away from Human Resource staff time.
  3. Customizable:The program will be customized for each business but the basic components include:
    • Business to identify a lead company contact to ensure close communication and coordination of all project activities;
    • Business to offer guidance such as the best times to offer the information, application and training sessions to minimize disruptions to work schedules and yet at the same time maximize opportunities for employees to participate;
    • Business and the Forum to promote the availability of the program through various internal communications with employees such as newsletters or paystubs;
    • The Forum to assist Business with external communications throughout the community demonstrating good community corporate social responsibility;
    • Business and the Forum to plan for recognizing and congratulating employees who become citizens (optional);
    • Business to provide space for information, application and civics instruction offerings;
    • Business to consider supporting workers as appropriate: paid time off, a naturalization fee match, payroll deduction savings plan.


  • Publicize within staff
  • Information/Pre-Screening Session on worksite
  • Citizenship Application Session on worksite
  • Civics/ESL preparation, as needed


Jennie Murray
Director of Integration Programs
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