Citizenship and Assimilation Grant Program
USCIS Awards Fiscal Year 2017 Citizenship and Assimilation Grants
Nearly $10 Million Will Expand Citizenship Preparation Services in 26 States
On Sept. 28, 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the award of nearly $10 million in grants to 45 organizations to help permanent residents prepare for naturalization. The grants also help these organizations promote prospective citizens’ assimilation into American civic life by funding educational programs designed to increase their knowledge of English, U.S. history, and civics. Located in 26 states, these organizations will receive federal funding to support citizenship preparation services for lawful permanent residents through September 2019.
Since it began in 2009, the USCIS Citizenship and Assimilation Grant Program has awarded a total of $73 million through 353 competitive grants to immigrant-serving organizations in 37 states and the District of Columbia. Now in its ninth year, the program has helped more than 190,000 permanent residents prepare for citizenship.
USCIS anticipates that approximately 25,000 permanent residents will receive citizenship preparation services by Sept. 30, 2019, as a result of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 awards issued through the grant program. An additional 12,000 permanent residents will be served under the ongoing FY 2016 program, which continues through Sept. 30, 2018.
USCIS awarded the grants through two competitive funding opportunities. The first funding opportunity supports organizations that provide citizenship instruction and naturalization application assistance. The second funding opportunity either assists non-profit organizations that have not previously received a grant from USCIS to establish new citizenship instruction programs, or helps organizations expand the quality and reach of their existing citizenship instruction programs.
Organizations that receive grants under this program can only use grant funds to provide services to immigrants who have been lawfully admitted to the U.S. for permanent residence.
Grant Recipient Organizations
Under the Citizenship Instruction and Naturalization Application Services funding opportunity, DHS-17-CIS-010-002, grant recipients are public or private nonprofit organizations with recent experience providing citizenship instruction and naturalization application assistance to permanent residents. These organizations include community and faith-based groups, public libraries, and adult education and literacy organizations.
Under the Citizenship Instruction funding opportunity, DHS-17-CIS-010-001, grant recipients are local public or private nonprofit organizations that have at least one year of experience providing English as a second language instruction in a classroom setting that follows a curriculum. The organizations include faith-based groups, and community and literacy organizations.
The FY 2017 recipient organizations serve both traditional immigrant population centers and emerging immigrant population centers in 26 states nationwide. The grant recipients will provide citizenship preparation services to approximately 25,000 U.S. permanent residents originally from more than 50 countries. The grant recipients represent:
- Sixteen of the top 20 states with the largest permanent resident populations: California, New York, Texas, Florida, New Jersey, Illinois, Massachusetts, Georgia, Washington, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Minnesota and Colorado.
- Nine of the top ten metropolitan areas with the most new permanent residents in the past ten years: New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Washington, D.C., Chicago, San Francisco, Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, and Atlanta.
- Nine of the top ten states with the most naturalizations over the last ten years: California, New York, Florida, Texas, New Jersey, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, and Georgia.
FY 2017 Grant Recipients
Grant recipients (in alphabetical order):
Citizenship Instruction and Naturalization Application Services
|Asian Americans Advancing Justice||Los Angeles, Calif.|
|Asian Counseling and Referral Service||Seattle, Wash.|
|Asian Services in Action, Inc.||Akron, Ohio|
|Association of Africans Living In Vermont||Burlington, Vt.|
|Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans, Inc.||New Orleans, La.|
|Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas, Inc.||Overland Park, Kan.|
|Catholic Charities of Orange County, Inc.||Santa Ana, Calif.|
|Catholic Charities, Diocese of Fort Worth, Inc.||Fort Worth, Texas|
|Center for Legal Immigration Assistance||Lincoln, Neb.|
|Central American Resource Center of California||Los Angeles, Calif.|
|Church World Service, Inc.||Durham, N.C.|
|Coalition of Florida Farmworker Organizations||Florida City, Fla.|
|Colorado African Organization||Denver, Colo.|
|Emerald Isle Immigration Center||Woodside, N.Y.|
|English Skills Learning Center||Salt Lake City, Utah|
|Fresno Unified School District||Fresno, Calif.|
|HIAS and Council Migration Services||Philadelphia, Pa.|
|Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota||Saint Paul, Minn.|
|Instituto del Progreso Latino||Chicago, Ill.|
|International Institute of the Bay Area||San Francisco, Calif.|
|International Institute of Metro Detroit||Detroit, Mich.|
|International Institute of Metropolitan St. Louis||St. Louis, Mo.|
|International Rescue Committee, Inc.||San Diego, Calif.|
|Jewish Family and Vocational Service of Middlesex County, Inc.||Milltown, N.J.|
|Jewish Family Service of San Diego||San Diego, Calif.|
|Jewish Family Service of Western Massachusetts||Springfield, Mass.|
|Kentucky Refugee Ministries, Inc.||Louisville, Ky.|
|Latin American Association||Atlanta, Ga.|
|Lutheran Community Services Northwest||Portland, Ore.|
|Make the Road New York||New York, N.Y.|
|Montgomery College||Rockville, Md.|
|Progreso Latino, Inc.||Central Falls, R.I.|
|Resurrection Project||Chicago, Ill.|
|School Board of Miami-Dade County||Miami, FL|
|SEIU 1199 League Training and Upgrading Fund||New York, N.Y.|
|Shorefront YM-YWHA of Brighton Beach-Manhattan Beach||Brooklyn, N.Y.|
|Center for Pan Asian Community Services, Inc.||Atlanta, Ga.|
|Interfaith Works of Central New York, Inc.||Syracuse, N.Y.|
|Keystone Opportunity Center, Inc.||Souderton, Pa.|
|Nashville International Center for Empowerment||Nashville, Tenn.|
|Pars Equality Center||Sherman Oaks, Calif.|
|Project Learn of Summit County||Akron, Ohio|
|North Bergen Free Public Library||North Bergen, N.J.|
|YMCA of the University of Illinois||Champaign, Ill.|
As part of the grant review process, USCIS reviewed more than 120 eligible applications using three-member teams to evaluate each proposal. The reviewers scored applications numerically using published evaluation criteria. USCIS ranked the applications under each funding opportunity based on their average scores. The USCIS internal review panel determined the final list of recipients based on the ranked order, as well as the published strategic program priorities found on page 33-34 of the notice of funding opportunity for DHS-17-CIS-010-002 (PDF) and on page 24-25 of the notice of funding opportunity for DHS-17-CIS-010-001 (PDF).
To learn more about applying for federal funding opportunities, visit grants.gov or call 800-518-4726.