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Biden Administration Unveils Strategy to Remove Obstacles to US Citizenship

The plan involves numerous government agencies

Jul 2, 2021

A naturalization oath ceremony outside
Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

The Biden administration unveiled Friday a comprehensive strategy involving numerous government agencies to remove obstacles facing immigrants eligible for U.S. citizenship.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) said in a statement that the agency “is committed to empowering immigrants to pursue citizenship and the rights and opportunities available to them as they embark on their journey.”

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The government laid out its plans to reduce barriers to naturalization, including:

  1. Outreach: Create a working group with various government agencies such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Social Security Administration, U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, and the U.S. Department of Justice, as well as state and local governments, to notify immigrants when they’re eligible to apply for citizenship.
  2. Partnerships: Expand national, regional, and local partnerships to raise awareness around naturalization. Examples of the types of partnerships include teaming up with the United States Postal Service (USPS) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to provide citizenship information at post offices and ports of entry.
  3. Citizenship Education: Relaunch and expand a citizenship awareness and education campaign. Initiatives include creating new multilingual learning materials, increasing outreach to military families and rural communities, and posting more social media content about citizenship-related events, the application process, and study materials.

USCIS said it also plans to collect information on the nationality, age, sex, and zip codes of immigrants eligible for naturalization, and provide this anonymous data to local governments and community organizations seeking to improve outreach to those eligible for citizenship.

Given the massive naturalization interview and oath backlogs, USCIS said it would also continue searching for solutions to speed up the process.

“As the nation recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, we will seek to responsibly hold in-person events and to use the creative solutions we have already been employing to connect with communities using technology,” said the agency.

For more information, access the full report (PDF).

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