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USCIS Launches Citizenship Public Education and Awareness Initiative

Release Date: May 25, 2011

Released May 25, 2011

WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director Alejandro Mayorkas announced today the launch of a federal initiative to raise awareness about the rights, responsibilities and importance of U.S. citizenship. The Citizenship Public Education and Awareness Initiative will provide new opportunities for immigrants to learn about USCIS’s free citizenship education resources available to eligible lawful permanent residents (LPRs) and immigrant-serving organizations.

“Citizenship is the common thread that connects us all as Americans. This initiative emphasizes the importance of citizenship—not only to immigrants and their families but also to our nation as a whole,” said Director Mayorkas. “This effort marks a new milestone in USCIS’s outreach to lawful permanent residents.”

Approximately 7.9 million of the estimated 12.5 million LPRs living in the United States are eligible to apply for naturalization, according to the most recent Department of Homeland Security analysis.

USCIS will employ digital media, a video public service announcement, and print and radio messages in a variety of languages. The initiative will direct individuals to citizenship preparation materials and other training and educational resources available on the USCIS Citizenship Resource Center at www.uscis.gov/citizenship. Messages will run May 30-Sept. 5, 2011, in the first phase of a planned multiyear effort.

Since the early 1900s, the federal government has promoted an awareness of citizenship and prepared immigrants for successful citizenship. This current initiative builds upon those historic efforts and supports the mission of the USCIS Office of Citizenship, which was created by the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to promote instruction and training on citizenship rights and responsibilities. Since July 2009, USCIS has reached more than 32,000 LPRs and potential citizenship applicants at approximately 560 naturalization information sessions through partnerships between USCIS field offices, local community groups and immigrant-serving organizations.

To view the video public service announcement, visit the USCIS YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/uscis. To learn more about the Citizenship Public Education and Awareness Initiative and how organizations can support it, visit www.uscis.gov/citizenshipawareness.

Last Reviewed/Updated: 05/25/2011