When President Joe Biden took office in 2021, he arrived with a political agenda that was filled with plans to approach immigration issues in a modern and sustainable manner. Instead of trying to encourage comprehensive immigration reform in Congress, which is something previous administrations have failed to achieve, President Biden has been applying a strategy that favors making changes and adjustments to existing rules. This allows him to bypass the political gauntlet on Capitol Hill while still being able to improve the ailing immigration system.
What Led to the Eligible to Naturalize Program
Heeding advice provided by think tanks and immigration advocates, President Biden made it a point to illustrate the benefits American society would derive from a diverse citizenry. To this effect, he introduced the U.S. Citizenship Act in January 2021 for the purpose of reducing the time legal residents must wait before they become eligible for naturalization. As the situation stands in June 2022, foreigners who wish to become American citizens can only do so after they’ve legally resided in the U.S for at least five years. Biden would like to shorten that period to three years, but that will require congressional approval. In the meantime, Biden is trying to convince green card holders that naturalization is in their best interest through an outreach campaign.
The Purpose of the Outreach Program
The “Eligible to Naturalize” outreach program of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is an effort to let legal residents know about how the naturalization process can change their lives in positive ways. The first stage of the program consists of 22 fact sheets that started circulating in May 2022. These sheets contain statistics and information about how many legal residents are currently eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship in specific metropolitan regions, such as Southern California, Miami, New York, and 19 others. In addition to explaining how the naturalization process is being streamlined, the fact sheets also feature demographics about foreigners who have yet to become citizens despite being eligible. The idea is to present naturalization as a commonsense benefit for immigrants who may not be aware of how the process works.
According to USCIS statistics, approximately a quarter of legal residents who become eligible for naturalization never bother pursuing citizenship. Quite a few of these immigrants aren’t familiar with the process. If you would like to know whether you’re eligible for naturalization now, consider getting in touch with immigration attorneys in San Diego.
The Program’s Future
Future stages of this immigration outreach program will appeal to the civic pride and patriotism of those who are eligible to apply for citizenship. While naturalization conveys certain personal benefits, such as the right to vote, an American passport, the chance to run for political office, and security clearances for some lucrative jobs, Biden would like to see immigrants becoming citizens because they authentically feel like Americans. Needless to say, more new citizens means established political factions such as the Democratic Party will enjoy a larger voter base, and Biden doesn’t want to shy away from letting immigrants know they’re being courted for their future votes.
When they need expert legal advice on immigration and naturalization service, San Diego residents can trust the experienced attorneys at KS Visa Law. From family-based immigration law to naturalization issues, we can address all your immigration-related needs. Call 858-874-0711 to schedule an appointment.