U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the allocation of nearly $20 million in grants to 66 organizations across 35 states, marking a significant increase in funding for fiscal year (FY) 2022. These grants aim to support lawful permanent residents (LPRs) and individuals with a clear pathway to LPR status in their journey towards naturalization. This initiative aligns with Executive Order 14012, titled "Restoring Faith in Our Legal Immigration Systems and Strengthening Integration and Inclusion Efforts for New Americans."
The grants target remote, underserved, and isolated communities, in line with the broader strategy to promote naturalization as outlined in the corresponding Interagency Strategy. This year's funding surge is attributed to Congress doubling the resources allocated for FY 2022. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas emphasized the importance of welcoming new citizens and recognizing their valuable contributions to the nation.
USCIS Director M. Jaddou highlighted the commitment to educating remote, underserved, and vulnerable populations about the benefits of citizenship and the naturalization process. Beyond traditional citizenship and English acquisition programs, the FY 2022 grants support innovative approaches to preparing immigrants for naturalization. Additionally, regional or statewide hubs, known as citizenship support networks, have been funded to enhance the capacity of their affiliates in providing direct services to immigrants.
The Citizenship and Integration Grant Program, now in its 14th year, has awarded approximately $132 million through 579 competitive grants to immigrant-serving organizations in 39 states and the District of Columbia since its inception in 2009. The program's success is evidenced by over 300,000 LPRs being aided in their preparation for citizenship.
USCIS remains committed to expanding the availability of high-quality citizenship and integration services nationwide through the Citizenship and Integration Grant Program. As the program continues to evolve, its impact on facilitating the naturalization journey and fostering civic integration remains a crucial aspect of U.S. immigration efforts.