HIAS Awarded Federal Grant for Citizenship Preparation Program: $600,000 Awarded from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Posted on Wed, Sep 21, 2011 at 14:58 pm

(New York, NY) – HIAS, the international migration agency of the American Jewish community, has been selected to receive a grant totaling $600,000 as part of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 Citizenship and Integration National Capacity Building Grant Program. USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas announced that 42 organizations from 27 states and the District of Columbia have been selected to receive a total of $9 million in grants to promote citizenship education and immigrant integration in communities across the country. The grants were announced today at the White House to celebrate both Constitution Day and Citizenship Day.

According to Marc Silberberg, Chairman of the Board of HIAS, “HIAS is extremely gratified to be a recipient of this grant for the second year in a row. For 130 years, we have been on the cutting edge of integrating immigrants and assisting them to achieve citizenship. This grant reconfirms our achievements in this field and allows us to continue to expand our work with our resettlement partners.”

The grant will allow HIAS to help build and strengthen citizenship programs at four of our affiliates: Carolina Refugee Resettlement Agency in Charlotte, NC; Jewish Family Services of Washtenaw County in Ann Arbor, MI; Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Minneapolis in Minnetonka, MN; and Jewish Family Service of San Diego in San Diego, CA. HIAS’ comprehensive and innovative proposal focuses on building capacity for local organizations to conduct community outreach and provide citizenship education and legal services to immigrants, and on creating a model that can be replicated. This will ensure that immigrants continue to reap the benefits of the grant far into the future, solidifying HIAS’ role as a national leader in the area of citizenship.

Mark Hetfield, Senior Vice President for Policy and Programs, attended the event at the White House, which focused on promoting citizenship and integrating new Americans. Alessandra Pelosi’s new documentary film, “Citizen USA: A 50 State Road Trip,” which includes numerous naturalizing citizens assisted by HIAS, was screened.

Through this competitive grant program, USCIS seeks to expand citizenship preparation programs for lawful permanent residents (LPRs) to ensure that those committed to the goal of U.S. citizenship receive the support they need to be successful. Increased opportunities and additional resources in communities will help LPRs improve their English language skills and knowledge of U.S. history and government as they prepare for citizenship. HIAS was also the recipient of the FY 2010 grant to build capacity in Springfield, MA; Columbus, OH; and Clearwater, FL.

For additional information on the FY 2011 Citizenship and Integration Grant Program, please see www.uscis.gov/grants.