For Immediate Release
Matthew Burnett, Director
Immigration Advocates Network
CitizenshipWorks and the Brooklyn Public Library to Provide Naturalization Workshop as Part of a Week of Naturalization Events in NYC
Eligible Lawful Permanent Residents Encouraged to "Get More"
New York, New York (March 18, 2013) - The Brooklyn Public Library will host a free naturalization workshop on Friday, March 22 from 10:00 am to 3:30 pm featuring CitizenshipWorks, an award-winning online service that helps eligible lawful permanent residents to become citizens. The workshop is being held at the Shelby White and Leon Levy Information Commons, a new state-of-the-art technology facility at the Central Library. It is part
of a week-long series of free naturalization events taking place at locations throughout the city from March 16-23, organized by local nonprofit organizations participating in the New Americans Campaign, a groundbreaking national network dedicated to paving a better road to citizenship.
"We are thrilled to take part in the New Americans Campaign and especially proud to host CitizenshipWorks naturalization workshops in our new Shelby White and Leon Levy Information Commons," said Richard Reyes-Gavilan, Chief Librarian at Brooklyn Public Library. "Providing access to technology and training on online resources is key to fulfilling our mission, particularly as we serve an increasingly diverse population throughout Brooklyn."
The workshop will help eligible permanent residents to prepare their naturalization applications and access resources on the naturalization process. Workshop participants will use interactive online interviews to determine their eligibility and prepare their forms. Immigration experts will be available to review applications and answer legal questions. The event is part of an effort by CitizenshipWorks to encourage eligible immigrants to "get more" by starting the naturalization process, opening doors to the full benefits of U.S. citizenship.
Nationally, it is estimated that there are 8.5 million lawful permanent residents who are eligible to apply for citizenship. However, less than one million naturalize every year. For many immigrants, the complex laws and regulations that govern the naturalization process are intimidating. Others simply lack the resources to hire an attorney to begin the process. CitizenshipWorks (www.citizenshipworks.org) addresses these challenges by helping immigrants to determine their eligibility, find free or low-cost legal help, and prepare for the English and Civics tests. It is a project of the Immigration Advocates Network (IAN), in collaboration with the Immigrant Legal Resource Center and Pro Bono Net, a national nonprofit that works to increase access to justice through innovative uses of technology.
"Nearly one million New York residents are eligible to naturalize, but many need help navigating the complex process so that they can fully participate in the civic and economic life of our State," said Matthew Burnett, Director of the Immigration Advocates Network. "Workshops like this help demystify the naturalization process, and by leveraging innovative technology and strong community partnerships we ensure that as many people as possible get the help they need."
Registration for the event is strongly recommended. To register, call the Ya es Hora Hotline at (888) 839-8682. Registration is limited to 50 applicants.
The event is co-sponsored by Catholic Migration Services, CUNY Citizenship NOW!, Immigration Advocates Network, International Rescue Committee, NALEO Educational Fund and Pro Bono Net, local partners in the New Americans Campaign (www.newamericanscampaign.org).
Outreach flyers for the event are available at http://www.citizenshipworks.org/link.cfm?21089 (English) and http://www.citizenshipworks.org/link.cfm?21098 (Spanish).
CitizenshipWorks (http://www.citizenshipworks.org) is an award-wining, multilingual online platform that provides free, easy-to-use tools to help individuals answer questions about their eligibility for naturalization, better understand the naturalization process, prepare for the naturalization tests, and find free or low-cost legal help with their naturalization application. It is a project of the Immigration Advocates Network (IAN), the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, and Pro Bono Net.
About The Shelby White and Leon Levy Info Commons at Brooklyn Public Library
The Shelby White and Leon Levy Information Commons at Brooklyn Public Library (http://www.bklynpubliclibrary.org) marks a new approach to public library space and services. Located on the first floor of the Central Library, this new center consists of public meeting rooms, a training lab, and an open workspace, each equipped with technology and resources to facilitate individual and group work, learning, and creativity.
About the New Americans Campaign
The New Americans Campaign (www.newamericanscampaign.org) is a groundbreaking national network that is paving a better road to citizenship. The Campaign is modernizing and streamlining access to naturalization services, so that greater numbers of legally qualified permanent residents take the critical step to becoming American citizens. Funders of the New Americans Campaign include the Carnegie Corporation of New York, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, The Grove Foundation, Open Society Foundations, and The JPB Foundation.