Today, we celebrate Citizenship Day. On this date in 1787, the U.S. Constitutional Convention signed America’s foundational government document, and is now celebrated in a federal observance that highlights citizenship as our common bond to the Constitution.
The Unites States, known as the Land of Opportunities, has been the destination of many people around the world to find better opportunities for a better life. Up to this day, thousands of people across the world enter the United States to be in a place where they not to only find a safer and better life, but also where they can stay and become citizens just like the very first immigrants who arrived in the America’s and formed our nation.
According to the Department of Homeland Security’s 2011 Immigration Yearbook, over 30,000 people in Massachusetts become legal permanent residents, and around 20,000 immigrants in the state have naturalized, every year for the last 10 years.
Unfortunately, many immigrants still face obstacles to apply for citizenship. An estimated 10,000 immigrants in Massachusetts every year are eligible to naturalize but are unable to do so for one reason or another, including increased financial burdens.
There are many benefits to becoming citizens; benefits which impact not only foreign born individuals, but also increase the economic and political outlook of the Commonwealth overall. This includes: Increased long-term residency in the state and increased buying power; increased civic engagement, and federal benefits utilization.
At ORI, citizenship is one of our top priorities. We currently provide assistance to nearly 2,400 Legal Permanent Residents (LPR) to apply for citizenship. The Citizenship for New Americans Program (CNAP) funds 22 community-based non-profit organizations in 16 cities and towns of the Commonwealth.
Thanks to Governor Patrick and the Legislature, we have been able to accomplish a lot. But there is more to be done. Helping immigrants to become Americans is not only a benefit for them, but to all of us as a nation.
Today, we congratulate YOU, new Americans. Your journey was long, your path was not easy, but you achieve the American Dream. To those who out there, let’s all work together to help many, many more immigrants to achieve the American dream.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month posted on Oct 15
In 1994, after four years of intense investigation and testimony, Congress concluded that there was a pervasive problem of sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking among women in the United States. As a result,the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was passed. This legislation was the …Continue Reading October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month
October is Infant Safe Sleep Awareness Month posted on Oct 6
This month, Health and Human Services Secretary John Polanowicz announced an infant safe sleep campaign focused on the importance of infant safe sleep practices and promoting ways to reduce risks associated with Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID), the leading cause of death among infants between …Continue Reading October is Infant Safe Sleep Awareness Month
Statewide Listening Sessions: Services for Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and Late-deafened Adults and Children posted on Sep 25
Join Heidi Reed, Commissioner of Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (MCDHH), DHILS providers, the Disability Policy Consortium, and the Disability Law Center at a listening session in communities across the Commonwealth to share experiences with state services for deaf, hard of hearing, and late-deafened adults …Continue Reading Statewide Listening Sessions: Services for Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and Late-deafened Adults and Children