In a shift from Trump-era policies, the Biden administration is initiating an effort to recruit 9 million permanent residents to become naturalized citizens. This is a marked contrast from policies proposed only a few months ago that would raise fees for citizenship applications and create barriers to permanent residency.
Promoting naturalization to eligible immigrants is part of a larger effort on Biden’s part to promote “integration, inclusion, and citizenship.” This program is a companion to the legislative campaign to create a pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants, which has unfortunately stalled in Congress. Biden called attention to the citizenship drive at a naturalization ceremony he attended last week.
Cooperation between State Department, DHS & Agriculture
His target of 9 million new citizens will require cooperation between agencies like the State Department and the Department of Agriculture, who will direct migrants to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. USCIS has been directed to include more language options for the citizenship test prep materials.
The effort will also recruit from among people who have been residents for years as well as people who are early in their immigration journey and may be eligible in the future. Immigration judges and their desk staff will be encouraged to inform eligible immigrants of how to naturalize.
However, the plan doesn’t specifically call for reversing the fee spike introduced under Trump, which nearly doubled the price of applying for citizenship. The price change is currently part of a legal challenge, however, so it may not stand regardless.
Our New Jersey citizenship lawyers can help you take advantage of the nationwide citizenship drive. Let us talk in a confidential consultation to discuss your options.