Senator Menendez Applauds $500,000 in USCIS Funding to Help Prepare Permanent Residents for U.S. Citizenship

Senator Menendez Applauds $500,000 in USCIS Funding to Help Prepare Permanent Residents for U.S. Citizenship

WASHINGTON, DC - Just days after national Citizenship Day, U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), a member of the U.S. Senate's bipartisan "Gang of 8" that wrote the comprehensive immigration reform legislation current before Congress, applauded two U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services' grants totaling $500,000 awarded to New Jersey organizations working to prepare permanent residents for citizenship.

"On Tuesday, National Citizenship Day, many people throughout New Jersey - including dozens at Montclair State University - were sworn in as American citizens, completing a long journey that my own parents had completed years ago," said Senator Menendez, who wrote the pathway to citizenship provisions in the comprehensive immigration reform bill that passed the Senate. "And there are still many people here in New Jersey with legal permanent resident status working toward the dream of becoming American citizens. I am grateful that these federal resources have been made available to help them realize their dreams of becoming American citizens and continuing our nation's great legacy as a nation of immigration that from many peoples from around the world has become one great American people."

Senator Menendez delivered a special video message to those gathered at Montclair State University as more than 50 people were sworn in as American citizens. A video of the message can be viewed here:

The USCIS grants announced today include:

$250,000 to Jewish Family and Vocational Service of Middlesex County, Inc. in Milltown.

Jewish Family and Vocational Service of Middlesex County, Inc. (JFVS) has provided citizenship preparation services to immigrants and refugees since 1988. JFVS was first awarded a USCIS grant in FY 2010. FY 2013 funding will allow JFVS to increase instructional hours and expand classes into new locations in New Jersey. JFVS serves individuals from a variety of countries, including Belarus, China, Colombia, Ecuador, Egypt, India, Korea, Mexico, Peru, Russia, Sierra Leone, and Ukraine. The program anticipates that 320 permanent residents will receive citizenship instruction and 440 permanent residents will receive naturalization application services.

$250,000 to La Casa de Don Pedro in Newark

La Casa de Don Pedro (La Casa) has a 41-year history of offering direct services to immigrants in the Newark area. The majority of La Casa's clients are low-income residents from Latin American countries, including Ecuador, Peru, Honduras, El Salvador, Uruguay, Brazil, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Colombia, and Mexico. La Casa was first awarded a USCIS grant in FY 2010. With FY 2013 funding, La Casa will add new class cycles and conduct citizenship information sessions to counter misinformation in the community. La Casa anticipates providing citizenship instruction to 320 permanent residents and naturalization application services to 400 permanent

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