(USA Features) The Biden administration plans to reach out to 9 million immigrants in the coming weeks and encourage them to become U.S. citizens.
CNN reported that the initiative is the result of one of President Joe Biden’s executive orders that instructed some federal agencies to begin crafting “welcoming strategies that promote integration, inclusion, and citizenship.”
“The idea is to find a whole-of-government way to reach out to people who are able to naturalize,” said a Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) official who added that there are 9 million people in the U.S. currently who are lawful permanent residents and thus able to apply for U.S. citizenship.
“Becoming a United States citizen is a tremendous privilege. New citizens, strengthened with the power and responsibilities that American citizenship brings, make our Nation better,” Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement.
“This strategy will ensure that aspiring citizens are able to pursue naturalization through a clear and coordinated process,” he added.
“USCIS remains committed to empowering immigrants to pursue citizenship along with the rights and opportunities that come with it,” noted said USCIS Acting Director Tracy Renaud.
“It is fitting that this report is being released days before our nation’s 245th birthday. There is no greater testament to the strength of America than our willingness to encourage others to join us as U.S. citizens as we work together to build a more perfect union,” Renaud continued.
“We look forward to the work ahead in welcoming and supporting aspiring Americans and equipping them with the tools they need to be successful in their journey to citizenship, and beyond.”
In addition to the USCIS, the Department of Education, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of State, Department of Labor, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Defense, Department of Justice, Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Agriculture, and the Social Security Administration, are all part of the interagency Naturalization Working Group.
The group is charged with creating a “whole-of-government” approach to encouraging more immigrants to become citizens, the statement noted.
“Since the beginning of the Biden-Harris administration, USCIS has taken a number of steps to reduce barriers to naturalization and restore confidence in our nation’s legal immigration system,” said the statement.
Biden is scheduled to take part in a citizenship ceremony on Friday.