U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today awarded nearly $20 million in grants to 66 organizations in 35 states to help prepare lawful permanent residents (LPRs) and those with a clear pathway to lawful permanent residency for naturalization. USCIS focused this year on reaching remote, underserved, and/or isolated communities per Executive Order 14012, Restoring Faith in Our Legal Immigration Systems and Strengthening Integration and Inclusion Efforts for New Americans, and corresponding Interagency Strategy on Promoting Naturalization. The grants were made possible thanks to funding provided by Congress, which doubled the funding available for fiscal year (FY) 2022.
Citizenship and Integration Grants provide funding to organizations that prepare immigrants for naturalization and promote civic integration through increased knowledge of English, U.S. history and civics. In addition to the traditional programs that fund citizenship and English acquisition classes, DHS expanded the FY 2022 grants to include opportunities for creative and innovative approaches to preparing immigrants for naturalization. Grants were also made available to fund regional or statewide hubs: citizenship support networks that build capacity among their affiliates to provide direct services to immigrants.
“We enrich the fabric and future of our nation as we welcome new United States citizens and benefit from their many contributions,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “We are therefore proud to provide these grants to organizations that assist lawful permanent residents on their path to citizenship and equip them to embrace the rights and responsibilities that citizenship involves.”
“We are committed to educating remote, underserved and vulnerable populations about the benefits of citizenship, and about the naturalization process,” said USCIS Director Ur M. Jaddou. “Through the USCIS grants program, we ensure that community organizations can equip immigrants with the tools they need to be successful throughout their journey to become new U.S. citizens and beyond.”
The Citizenship and Integration Grant Program has awarded approximately $132 million through 579 competitive grants to immigrant-serving organizations in 39 states and the District of Columbia since it began in 2009. Now in its 14th year, the program has helped more than 300,000 LPRs prepare for citizenship.
USCIS seeks to expand availability of high-quality citizenship and integration services throughout the country under the Citizenship and Integration Grant Program.
USCIS awarded the grants through four competitive funding opportunities.
Citizenship Instruction and Naturalization Application Services: This opportunity will fund public or nonprofit organizations that offer both citizenship instruction and naturalization application services to immigrants. USCIS has awarded 48 organizations up to $300,000 each for two years.
Community and Regional Integration Network Grant: This grant opportunity funds extended integration services with a focus on individualized programming for certain immigrants, including those who entered the United States under the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, were granted asylum, or were admitted or entered the United States as a Cuban or Haitian entrant. This funding grant, which was formerly called the Refugee and Asylee Integration Services Grant, has expanded eligibility to include organizations serving one of the following groups: individuals who were admitted or entered the United States as Cuban or Haitian entrants; individuals admitted on a Special Immigrant Visa; victims of human trafficking and criminal activity; and abused spouses, children, and parents under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). USCIS has awarded three organizations with experience serving vulnerable populations up to $300,000 each for a period of two years.
Regional Hub Program: This new grant opportunity is designed to fund regional or statewide citizenship support networks that build capacity among their affiliates or members to provide direct citizenship preparation services to immigrants. Applicants are expected to serve as a hub for communication and information sharing on citizenship preparation among their affiliates or members and within the broader community. USCIS has awarded three grants of up to $1,000,000 each for a period of two years.
Innovations in Citizenship Education Program: This new grant opportunity is designed to amplify innovation. USCIS has awarded innovation grants to organizations that foster creative approaches to preparing immigrants for naturalization and encouraging the civic, linguistic and cultural integration of immigrants into their communities. USCIS has awarded 12 organizations up to $250,000 each for a period of two years.