Last week, Director of US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) León Rodríguez and Mayor of Atlanta City Kasim Reed signed a letter of partnership agreement remaining effective until December 2017 in the effort of boosting insights and awareness on citizenship among immigrants.
“Our partnership with Atlanta will strengthen local efforts to help aspiring citizens find the information and resources needed to succeed during the naturalization process,” said Rodríguez. “USCIS is proud to join forces with Mayor Reed to expand citizenship education and awareness efforts and to support permanent residents as they consider the rights and responsibilities of U.S. citizenship.”
Throughout the signing ceremony at City Hall, the two leaders emphasized the necessity of integrating all stakeholders into a steady commitment to assist citizens and build more friendly communities. Rodríguez and Reed worked out a scheme to set up “Citizenship Corners” at branches of Atlanta-Fulton Public Library to give immigrants better access to official resources concerning citizenship preparation from USCIS. Moreover, USCIS makes arrangements for training librarians and staff in other cities about the naturalization procedures and offers free of charge preparation materials exclusively for immigrant library visitors.
“The contributions of immigrants and foreign-born residents to the cultural and economic fabric of Atlanta are irrefutable,” said Mayor Kasim Reed. “In the City of Atlanta, immigrants are over-represented among the self-employed, and across our state, new immigrant business owners generate business revenue of $2.9 billion a year. Despite their proven value to our city, thousands of our eligible residents have not yet completed the naturalization process. That’s why I’m thrilled to announce a joint commitment with USCIS to expand access to citizenship in Atlanta, with all its privileges and responsibilities.”
In addition, USCIS and the City of Atlanta will arrange to:
- Deliver citizenship guidance via public academic institutions, civic centers, and other municipal facilities.
- Cooperate with more and more community partners to organize naturalization information sessions across the city of Atlanta.
- Improve social awareness on immigration services scams.
- Broadcast citizenship training videos and service updates featuring the partnership agreement on Channel 26, the city’s websites and public access TV stations.
Atlanta becomes the fourth municipal partner joining USCIS’s initiative following Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, Chicago and Los Angeles.
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