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Immigration Reform News: NALEO Educational Fund to Help Millions of Immigrants Become Naturalized Citizens

First Posted: Sep 05, 2015 12:02 PM EDT
Immigrant immigrants protests immigration

Immigrant immigrants protests immigration(Photo : Getty Images)

A pro-immigrant rights organization is gearing up to help millions of eligible lawful permanent residents become naturalized citizens throughout the month of September.

In honor of Citizenship Month and Citizenship Day, which falls on Sept. 17, the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund announced that it will host numerous events across the country, which will aim to provide assistance to the millions of legal permanent residents (LPRs) who are currently eligible to become U.S. citizens.

According to the organization, almost half of the 8.8 million LPRs who meet the eligibility requirements to apply for U.S. citizenship are Latino. However, language barriers and lack of resources prevent many from completing the naturalization process, which requires legal assistance and a $680 application fee.

"We need to break down the barriers that are keeping millions of hard-working and talented legal permanent residents from contributing fully to our nation's economy and society," stated Arturo Vargas, NALEO Educational Fund executive director, in a statement sent to LatinPost.com.

"Throughout the month of September, we will do our part to help as many potential new Americans as possible successfully navigate and complete the naturalization process," he added.

Organizations like the New Americans Campaign and the American Immigration Lawyers Association have teamed up with the NALEO Educational Fund in their campaign to help eliminate many of the challenges that obstruct LPRs on their road to citizenship.

The group will also hold workshops and public events across the nation to provide potential new Americans with the information, resources and direct assistance they need to complete the process.

In turn, experts say that increasing the number of immigrants who become U.S. citizens will benefit both new Americans and the country in whole, since citizenship can boost individual earnings by 8 to 11 percent and potentially help our economy grow by up to $45 billion over the next decade.

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