New York City, the largest American city, has an estimated population of 8 million. Immigrants from more than 190 countries make up 37 percent of the population of New York City. 1.1 million New Yorkers have become U.S. citizens since 2004. Currently, 1.05 million green card holders living there are eligible for U.S. citizenship.
USCIS Director Léon Rodríguez and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio have signed an agreement to help green card holders learn more about U.S. citizenship and the naturalization process.
The Office of the Mayor of New York believes that the immigrants living there enrich the city and its economy. So they have joined forces with the USCIS to provide immigrants with the tools they need to integrate into the community. The agreement between USCIS and the Office of the Mayor of New York City will remain in effect until 31 December 2018.
The agreement will establish “New American Corners” in the city’s libraries. They will offer citizenship and English classes to the immigrants who want to become U.S. citizens. These libraries will offer tools and resources to the green card holders to help them prepare for the naturalization test and interview.
Plans have been made to provide information on citizenship through the websites of the City of New York and the public libraries. The library staff will be trained on the naturalization process. The public will be alerted on immigration service scams.
USCIS Director Léon Rodríguez said that the Statue of Liberty is a symbol of welcome and the public libraries in the city will be welcoming resources. He said that the immigrants in the city can make use of the resources and start their U.S. citizenship journey at the libraries. According to Mayor Bill de Blasio, the new partnership will spread the message that the city is ready to help immigrants who are eligible for American citizenship. He said that citizenship will open up new opportunities including the opportunity to vote and get better jobs.