HIAS Partners Awarded USCIS Citizenship and Integration Grant
Posted by HIAS – NY on Wed, Sep 25, 2013 at 16:30 pm
A huge congrats to our long-time partners—Jewish Family Services of Western Massachusetts in Springfield and US Together in Columbus, Ohio—who were awarded Citizenship and Integration Grants by the Department of Homeland Security, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Both HIAS affiliates participated in our first USCIS-funded citizenship capacity-building grant, which ran from October 2010 through September 2012. Through that grant they each developed the service capacity that enabled them to submit successful proposals to USCIS.
Under this USCIS program, 40 immigrant-serving organizations from 21 states will receive federal funding to support citizenship preparation services for permanent residents through September 2015. Our partners will each be awarded $250,000 over the next two years for program implementation. The program will enable hundreds of legal permanent residents to achieve their goal of becoming a citizen of the United States. (A "permanent resident" is a person authorized by the U.S. government to live and work in the country on a permanent basis. Refugees are permanent residents; after five years they become eligible for citizenship.)
"This program embodies the Jewish values of 'welcoming the stranger' and 'Tikkun Olam' (Repairing the World)," said Robert D. Marmor, President and CEO, JFS Western Massachusetts. "It also meets JFS' vision as a community leader empowering people to achieve fulfilling lives; and our mission to provide exceptional social services, grounded in Jewish values, to support and empower individuals and families from diverse cultural and economic backgrounds."
The new program will offer participants civics classes as well as assistance with the naturalization process. Additionally, the program model provides opportunities for volunteers to get involved and help their newest neighbors with mentoring and tutoring to prepare for the citizenship test and interview.
"On a more personal note, as a proud Jew and U.S. citizen, I am moved and honored to participate in this program," added Marmor. "The Jewish community knows what it is like to be in exile and to live as refugees. The United States has been a harbinger of safety and security, allowing unprecedented religious and political freedoms."