Cities team up for citizenship

Cities team up for citizenshipNew York City, Los Angeles and Chicago have teamed up in a bid to obtain US citizenship for legal immigrants.  The Chicago Tribune says that the three cities have joined forces in an initiative entitled Cities for Citizenship, which is intended to allow the cities to expand their naturalization schemes and offer citizenship via Citigroup’s $1.1m contribution.

The joint effort is to be coordinated by the National Partnership for New Americans and the Center for Popular Democracy, with the overall aim being to give cities across the United States encouragement to help more immigrants to receive US citizenship.  Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti, Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel and Bill de Blasio, the mayor of New York City, made the announcement about Cities for Citizenship.

The Wall Street Journal claims that giving immigrants US citizenship could add between $1.8bn and $4.1bn to the economy of New York City, between $1.6bn and $2.8bn to the economy of Los Angeles and between $1bn and $1.6bn to that of Chicago.  “Citizenship is a powerful poverty-fighting tool because it brings huge economic benefits to families and to communities,” de Blasio commented in a joint press release issued by all three mayors.  “More than that, it helps keep families together.”

Emanuel says that he wants to see Chicago become the friendliest US city to immigrants, while Garcetti says that political issues need to stop getting in the way of acknowledging the big role that immigrants play in the nation’s economy.