Six months ago today, on September 17, 2015, Citizenship Day, President Obama launched the “Stand Stronger” citizenship awareness campaign, a national, multilingual public awareness campaign to promote the rights, responsibilities, and opportunities of citizenship among eligible lawful permanent residents. The “Stand Stronger” Campaign has been breaking down barriers for these eligible residents to take the important step of becoming U.S. citizens.
Stand Stronger reflects the belief that we are, and have always been, a nation of immigrants that welcomes those fleeing persecution. The campaign underscores that immigrants and refugees make us stronger when they are able to set down roots, harness their skills, contribute to our economy, and commit to citizenship.
As part of the campaign, the White House works to: engage immigrant- and refugee- serving organizations around the country that provide in-person assistance and legal services to individuals eligible to naturalize; businesses that are providing citizenship workshops and English language classes to their employees; the philanthropic community; and cities and localities that are bringing immigration services to places where new Americans live and work.
Over the last six months, partners across the United States have held community events that have educated thousands on the benefits of citizenship. Additionally, over 1.1 million people have taken the Civics Practice Test, a new, interactive online tool to help prepare soon-to-be citizens! We have also announced new citizenship and integration grant opportunities and worked with our Presidential Ambassadors for Citizenship and Naturalization to promote naturalization and increase awareness of the contributions of new Americans. See this inspiring video from Chef José Andrés.
The campaign is part of a comprehensive effort by the White House Task Force on New Americans to ensure that eligible lawful permanent residents have the tools and support needed to apply for U.S. citizenship. To build on these efforts, the Task Force launched a series of White House Regional Convenings on New Americans aimed at strengthening and supporting local immigrant and refugee integration efforts. Since January, the White House has held regional convenings in Los Angeles, Houston, Miami, Atlanta, and we continue to visit cities across the nation to support immigrant and refugee integration work and encourage communities to Stand Stronger together.
As President Obama reminded us just this week at the White House St. Patrick’s Day Reception, “All of us come from someplace else. America is made of generations of men and women who crossed oceans and borders to come here, some in extraordinarily dire circumstances. Tireless waves of immigrants -- from Ireland, yes, but also Italy and Germany, from Russia and China, Southeast Asia, from Latin America and Africa. And many set down roots and became some of our most influential citizens. We encourage the latest generation of eligible immigrants -- some 8.8 million permanent residents, including many Irish-- to take the same step in their American journey.”
We thank all those who are already doing their part to educate eligible lawful permanent residents about the naturalization process, and ask that you all help to spread the world about the Stand Stronger campaign! Visit CommitToCitizenship.org and the Stand Stronger Media Toolkit to download and share material with your community today!