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Federal Task Force Calls for an Americanization Movement for the 21st Century Makes Recommendations to Strengthen Immigrant Integration

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WASHINGTON – After more than two years of collaboration and initiatives among 20 federal agencies and a variety of stakeholders, the Task Force on New Americans delivered a report today to President George W. Bush calling for the strengthening of immigrant integration efforts across the United States.

The report, “Building an Americanization Movement for the Twenty-first Century,” reaffirms two fundamental ideals about the nature and success of integration in the United States. First, Americans are united by an identity that respects diversity, but one that is defined by the principles of American democracy, our shared history, and the English language. Second, successful citizenship promotion encompasses not only naturalization, but also assimilation.

“The Task Force believes that immigrants do generally assimilate in the United States,” said Alfonso Aguilar, Chair of the Task Force’s Technical Committee, and Chief of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) Office of Citizenship. “But trends show government can do more to help newcomers learn English, learn about America, and promote integration across our nation.”

Recognizing that immigration is a federal responsibility, but integration occurs in communities, the Task Force calls for a coordinated Americanization movement involving all sectors of society. Successful integration involves a message of inclusion that emphasizes American civic principles and welcomes people from all backgrounds to fully become American. The Task Force offers the following 10 recommendations to help strengthen integration efforts across the country:

  1. An Americanization movement for the twenty-first century;
  2. Viewing integration as a two-way street;
  3. Improved legislation on integration and citizenship;
  4. Federal celebration of citizenship;
  5. Federal leadership on integration;
  6. Enhanced e-learning tools for adults;
  7. Encouraging the private sector to promote integration;
  8. Mobilizing the volunteer community;
  9. Increasing integration stakeholders; and
  10. Broadened analysis and evaluation of integration.

President Bush created the Task Force in June 2006 as a federal interagency effort to help immigrants learn English, embrace the common core of American civic culture, and fully become American.

The full report with detailed recommendations is available in the Related Links section of this page, as is a Fact Sheet on the Task Force.

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