New York Businesses Highlight Benefits of Citizenship and Immigrant Integration

NEW YORK CITY — Local businesses and government partners discussed Tuesday the economic impact of immigrant integration and opportunities to offer citizenship services to employees at the worksite.

The roundtable, hosted by the Museum of Chinese in America, highlighted businesses involved in the National Immigration Forum’s New American Workforce, a citizenship program.

New American Workforce works with more than 250 businesses in eight U.S. cities to assist their eligible immigrant employees with the citizenship process so they can become more valuable workers and full participants in the workplace, community and economy.

The following are quotes from speakers at the event:

Beatrice Chen, Vice President for Programs and Museum Experience, Museum of Chinese in America:

“We’re excited to partner with the National Immigration Forum’s New American Workforce so that we can join forces and really pave the way for members of our community to go from legal permanent residency to U.S. citizenship. One of the issues that came to the forefront for the Chinese-American community during the election season last year was that many green-card-holding members of our community were unable to vote. There is a huge movement for voter registration right now, which is why partnering with programs like New American Workforce is so crucial for our community.”

Sonia Lin, General Counsel and Policy Director, Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, New York City:

“We, along with other funders, have been able to provide $1.6 million towards free legal assistance and financial counseling to eligible immigrant New Yorkers who want to become citizens. We know that many green card holders in the city’s workforce are eligible for naturalization, which is why we have also partnered with New American Workforce to connect green-card-holding city employees with the necessary services to become U.S. citizens.”

Jessica Walker, President and CEO, Manhattan Chamber of Commerce:

“The Manhattan Chamber of Commerce is proud of our relationship with New American Workforce. We love this program and know our membership love it too. We see this as a wonderful model: For the employer, it’s an easy way to support their workforce and provide a great benefit for their employees. As a result of this support, employees are more productive and happier.”

Ali Noorani, Executive Director, National Immigration Forum:

“Local businesses in New York are taking the lead to help the city’s nearly 1.5 million legal permanent residents achieve citizenship. When new Americans have the opportunities to achieve citizenship, the resulting economic impact benefits employers, employees and American workers alike.”

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