A $10 million increase from last year to make naturalization attainable to all communities
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on Monday it would provide up to $20 million in grants to programs that help green card holders prepare for the citizenship test, a $10 million increase from last year.
The Citizenship and Integration Grant Program awards grants to public and nonprofit organizations that offer naturalization instruction, including help with speaking, talking, and reading English, as well as teaching the basics of U.S. history and government. DHS will expand the grants this year to include programs that help prepare immigrants for naturalization in innovative ways.
“This year, the Citizenship and Integration Grant Program is more robust than ever,” said USCIS Director Ur M. Jaddou. “These organizations are helping immigrants become citizens and integrate into the United States, and I am pleased that this year’s program will support innovative initiatives and deepen regional and local collaboration to reach more geographic areas around the country.”
The citizenship test is given verbally during the naturalization interview, and includes two components — the first tests English proficiency, and the second evaluates an applicant's civics knowledge.
USCIS said the grant is aimed at helping immigrants in underserved communities get the tools they need to become U.S. citizens.
“Through our Citizenship and Integration Grant Program, we are helping to provide integration services to noncitizens on their journeys to becoming American citizens,” said Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “By adding additional funding opportunities, organizations will be able to reach more communities and ensure noncitizens have access to the tools and resources needed for citizenship education.”
DHS will announce award recipients in September 2022. The agency has awarded $112 million in grants since 2009 to organizations providing citizenship preparation services. According to DHS, these grants have helped more than 300,000 immigrants in 39 states and Washington D.C.
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