Employers in Los Angeles, Miami, Washington and the Silicon Valley are helping immigrants obtain U.S. citizenship through the Washington-based National Immigration Forum, according to Fox News. Health clinics, hotels and a clothing factory are just some of the companies that are offering one-site assistance from immigration advocates.
The source said that the effort to help immigrants receive citizenship is a win for both sides as workers will avoid legal fees and companies can establish a bond with workers.
“You create some sense of loyalty,” Leonie Timothee, human resources manager at InterContinental Miami, told the source. “It is going to be a part of you for the rest of your life, and to know your place of employment helped you, assisted you in becoming a citizen – I think that’s a great deal.”
In the U.S., most immigrants can apply for citizenship after holding a green card for five years. They must also pass English and civics tests. However, Fox News said it’s often a much longer process because of high application fees, fear of one’s inability to speak English well enough or not fully understanding enough about the process of filing for citizenship.
Since 2012, 19 companies have signed on to participate in the effort to help immigrants with the necessary paperwork. High-tech companies are at the forefront of sponsoring foreign workers for visas or green cards. However, most aren’t involved in the process after that point. According to Fox News, the involvement of these companies typically ends with obtaining the paperwork.
Some employers are really helping workers by fronting them $680 for the government’s naturalization application fee. The funds are then deducted from pay checks, the source reported. Companies like AltaMed, based in Southern California, are helping immigrant workers because they believe it falls in line with the company’s mission. AltaMed focuses on treating Latinos as well as the underserved communities in the state’s cities.