USCIS Awards $9.1 Million in Grants

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency recently awarded $9.1 million in grants to 42 organizations that provide preparation services for permanent residents seeking naturalization.

This was the third year of the USCIS Citizenship and Integration grant program. In 2009, USCIS awarded $1.2 million to 13 organizations. Last year, the agency awarded $8.1 million to 56 organizations. The program is competitive, and the 2011 grant recipients were chosen from more than 300 applicants.

Three national organizations – the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society and the International Rescue Committee – were given money to increase their long-term capacity to provide citizenship instruction and naturalization application services. Twenty-eight locally based organizations were given grants for the same purpose, and 11 locally based organizations that provide citizenship instruction only were awarded money.

The grant recipients provide services to about 20,000 permanent residents, according to USCIS. The awarded organizations are located in 27 states, including the 10 states USCIS identifies as having the largest permanent resident populations and the 19 states with the most naturalizations annually.

Kansas is not among those states with the most yearly naturalizations, but nonetheless, 99 people from 44 countries recently became citizens in a ceremony at the University of Kansas, the Lawrence Journal-World reported.