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Thursday, January 31, 2013

National Partnership for New Americans Announces Principles for Immigrant Integration

January 30, 2013

Obama Announcement on Immigration Reform Builds Momentum

The National Partnership for New Americans announces principles for immigrant integration in light of President Obama’s major address on comprehensive immigration reform.

The National Partnership for New Americans applauds President Obama for his leadership in unveiling a comprehensive immigration reform plan that would provide a pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented people who, like millions of other immigrants, are vital contributors to the social, economic, civic, and cultural life of the United States.

The Partnership, of which OneAmerica is an active member, is especially encouraged by the President’s emphasis on immigrant contributions to the economy and the immediate need to bring a shadow economy into the light.

A sensible, streamlined pathway to legal permanent residency and citizenship is crucial for the development and growth of a robust economy. Immigrants are currently 13% of the U.S. population yet constitute 16% of the civilian labor force. According to a recent report by the Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII), the earnings of naturalized Americans rise by up to 11% and they are more likely to become homeowners, better educated, and live above the poverty line.

There are 8.5 million legal permanent residents who are eligible for citizenship nationwide, but fewer than 700,000 became citizens in 2011.

“The Partnership has been developing close partnerships with municipal and state governments and Federal agencies to address barriers to citizenship, and to promote naturalization and integration,” said Eva Millona, co-chair of the Partnership and executive director of the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA). “Our economy, our communities, and our families all benefit when we strengthen pathways to naturalization and encourage full civic participation for legal permanent residents. Any sensible comprehensive immigration reform plan must consider plans to actually integrate 11 million aspiring citizens into American society.”

For these reasons, the Partnership strongly urges Congress to create and fund a National Office on Immigrant Immigration Policy within the Executive Office of the President. This Office should drive a national strategy for immigrant integration by establishing a federal agency framework of integration goals and indicators; coordinating a bi-annual consultation process with state and local governments to inform federal integration policy, program and funding priorities; and coordinating analysis of integration-related data and policy options of immigration proposals or new proposals affecting key integration service areas such as early childhood, elementary and secondary education, adult basic education and English instruction, workforce training and healthcare, to determine their impact on the successful integration of immigrants and their children.

Last year, 12 prominent grassroots, immigrant rights advocacy organizations joined to create the National Partnership for New Americans in order to promote and support citizenship in partnership with the Open Society Institute. In 2012, the Partnership assisted 14,488 people become New Americans.

Media Contacts

Eva Millona, Partnership Co-chair, 508-615-7684
Charlie McAteer, Partnership Communications Coordinator, 917-696-1321,

About The Partnership

The National Partnership for New Americans (The Partnership) advances the integration and active citizenship of immigrants to achieve a vibrant, just, and welcoming democracy for all. The Partnership is a national multiethnic, multiracial partnership that harnesses the collective power and resources of 12 of the largest immigrant advocacy organizations in the country to mobilize millions of immigrants for integration and transformative social change. The Partnership creates and implements innovative programs that help immigrants become active and engaged citizens working for a stronger and more inclusive democracy and a vibrant nation.


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