San Diego helping immigrant employees with citizenship

May 12, 2017

CBS 8 – San Diego

By Kelly Hessedal

Legal immigrants working for the city of San Diego or at the San Diego International Airport will have citizenship-related services available to them at their workplace, thanks to a new partnership announced Friday.

The city, the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce and the airport will team with the National Immigration Forum’s New American Workforce to aid workers and their families seeking to become U.S. citizens.

“Immigrants have long played an important role in shaping San Diego’s culture and economy. Legal permanent residents deserve help along their path to citizenship so they can take part in the American dream,” Mayor Kevin Faulconer said. “This program will support the business community, strengthen our city workforce and give hard-working San Diegans the opportunity to become full-fledged Americans.”

Faulconer was joined a Friday morning news conference by San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Jerry Sanders, San Diego International Airport President and CEO Kimberly Becker, and National Immigration Forum Executive Director Ali Noorani.

“As a network of businesses in the San Diego region, we are glad to partner with a project like New American Workforce that makes worksite citizenship services available to the 204,000 eligible legal permanent residents in our region and enables the San Diego employers to create an even more talented and stable workforce, benefiting the entire region,” Sanders said.

“We applaud Mayor Faulconer and the city of San Diego and the San Diego International Airport for offering so many opportunities to their immigrant constituents, and we’re proud to partner with them through our New American Workforce program,” Noorani said. “The city is ensuring that their foreign- born residents have access to resources to gain the opportunities, skills and status needed to reach their fullest potential, while strengthening the greater community.

“Together, we are encouraging the business community to offer citizenship services to their employees right at the worksite, enabling their final step in their American dream.”

The New American Workforce, a project of the National Immigration Forum, works with more than 250 businesses in eight cities with high concentrations of legal permanent residents to assist their eligible employees with the citizenship process.

The program provides a series of citizenship application workshops for lawful permanent resident employees.

San Diego was a founding municipal partner of New American Workforce when it was launched two years ago. Since then, 55 local businesses have joined the initiative and helped more than 1,000 people through the citizenship application process.

The San Diego International Airport is one of the first airport partners of the program.

“I’m very proud to say that San Diego International Airport will be participating in the New American Workforce program to offer citizenship assistance to our eligible employees,” Becker said. “This program is designed to make a tremendous difference in the lives of those who participate.”

Added Becker: “Helping people on the path to citizenship unlocks whole new worlds of opportunity, and I am thrilled that airport employees and their families will have the chance to benefit from this fantastic program.”