National Immigration Forum

Practical Solutions for Immigrants and America

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Bipartisan House Bill Would Encourage Citizenship
June 24 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-27) and Democratic Rep. Tony Cárdenas (CA-29) announced that they are introducing the New American Success Act.

The bill would help new Americans integrate quickly by working to smooth access to English- language, civics and other programs through the naturalization process.

In remarks about the bill, Ros-Lehtinen highlighted the Bethlehem Project and the participation of many hotels in her district. Wendy Kallergis, CEO of the Greater Miami & the Beaches Hotel Association, attended the press conference announcing the bill.

“The Bethlehem Project has allowed us to offer citizenship services onsite to our employees, including English and civics education,” Kallergis said. “The New American Success Act is exciting because it would allow more businesses and communities to reap the benefits of initiatives like the Bethlehem Project.”

The bill would establish an office and task force to streamline integration initiatives and make policy recommendations, create a grant program to assist eligible organizations that assist immigrants with the naturalizations process, and establish “Integration Success Grants” to encourage integration partnerships among states, municipalities and nonprofits.

“With [Integration Success] Grants, creative programs such as the Bethlehem Project can become more expansive to include things like financial literacy and the other education opportunities that accelerate the integration process, along with non-traditional partners like the private sector,” Ros-Lehtinen said in her statement.

“It’s good to see bipartisan support for new Americans,” said Ali Noorani, Executive Director at the National Immigration Forum. “Like the Bethlehem Project’s dozens of local business partners, Congress is recognizing the benefits our communities and economy reap when we help immigrants become fully contributing American citizens.”

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