USCIS Announces 2010 Grant Recipients and New Citizenship Resource Center on Constitution Day and Citizenship Day
WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced nearly $8 million in grants for community-based organizations, unveiled a new Web-based Citizenship Resource Center, and discussed citizenship research and immigrant integration at a special Constitution Day and Citizenship Day conference.
“The 2010 expanded citizenship and integration grant program and the new Web-based Citizenship Resource Center provide much-needed support for citizenship services in communities across America,” said USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas. “By supporting the integration of those on the path to citizenship, we are able to send a welcoming message to those who aspire to become U.S. citizens, and at the same time proactively foster an increased understanding of the rights and responsibilities of U.S. citizenship that are so foundational to our experience as Americans.”
Seventy-five organizations from 27 states and the District of Columbia will receive a total of $7.8 million in federal grant funding to promote citizenship education and immigrant integration in communities across the country. The Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 Citizenship and Integration Grant Program includes two competitive funding opportunities. The first grant program strengthens locally based citizenship education programs and expands naturalization services. The second grant program increases the capacity of national, regional and statewide organizations to offer new citizenship services through their members or affiliates in communities across America.
This year’s program represents a significant increase in funding over the previous year. In 2009, USCIS awarded 13 organizations a total of $1.2 million to expand citizenship preparation programs.
In addition to the grant program announcement, USCIS officially launched the Citizenship Resource Center—a Web-based portal that centralizes citizenship resources for immigrants, educators and organizations. This free, easy-to-use website will help users better understand the naturalization process and gain the necessary skills to be successful during the naturalization interview and test.
The Citizenship Resource Center will include podcasts and interactive learning activities for applicants, links to an expanded America’s Literacy Directory with a new online citizenship class search function, and lesson plans and teaching tools for citizenship instructors.
The Promoting Citizenship and Immigrant Integration Conference is part of USCIS’s celebration of Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, celebrated every Sept. 17 in remembrance of the signing of the U.S. Constitution in 1787. Since 1952, Citizenship Day has been celebrated in conjunction with Constitution Day, although Congress first underscored the significance of U.S. citizenship in 1940, when it designated the third Sunday in May as “I Am an American Day.”
For additional information, please visit www.uscis.gov or view the grant announcement or immigrant integration initiative fact sheets.