HIAS to Receive Federal Grant for Citizenship Education Program: $450,000 Awarded from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Posted on Fri, Sep 17, 2010 at 11:45 am

(New York, NY) – HIAS, the international migration agency of the American Jewish community, has been selected to receive a grant totaling $450,000 as part of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 Citizenship and Integration Grant Program. USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas today announced that 75 organizations from 27 states and the District of Columbia have been selected to receive a total of $7.8 million in grants to promote citizenship education and immigrant integration in communities across the country. The grants were announced today to celebrate both Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, which fall on September 17.

According to Marc Silberberg, Chairman of the Board of HIAS, “HIAS is extremely gratified for the recognition of its work that this grant from the U.S. government represents. We have always 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 and expand our work with our resettlement partners.”

The grant will allow HIAS to help build and strengthen citizenship programs at three of our affiliates – Gulf Coast Jewish Family Services in Clearwater, FL; Jewish Family Services of Western Massachusetts in Springfield, MA; and US Together in Columbus, OH. The grant will also give HIAS the opportunity to develop new citizenship exam study materials and update existing ones. 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 at other sites in the future. This will ensure that immigrants continue to reap the benefits of the grant far into the future and will solidify HIAS’ role as a national leader in the area of citizenship.

Mark Hetfield, Senior Vice President for Policy and Programs, attended the Washington ceremony and spoke on a panel about national collaboration with local community-based organizations to promote citizenship and integrate new Americans.

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.

For additional information on the FY 2010 Citizenship and Integration Grant Program, please see www.uscis.gov/grants.