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Obama Launches Campaign to Encourage Green Card Holders to Become US Citizens

Celebrate 4th of July as New AmericansPresident Obama is encouraging eligible permanent residents to become U.S. citizens. The White House recently launched a public awareness campaign to help green card holders become U.S. citizens.

Recent estimates show around 13.3 million green card holders living in the U.S. Out of that, 8.8 million residents are eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship. This campaign aims at making it easier for such immigrants to complete the final steps to citizenship.

This citizenship awareness campaign was launched on Citizenship Day, September 17, 2015, by President Obama. He said that applying for citizenship is an important step for the country’s legal residents as well as the country. In his speech, President Obama encouraged legal residents who are eligible, to apply for citizenship as soon as possible. This campaign is a part of the executive actions that the President announced in November 2014.

70 citizenship outreach events will first be hosted by businesses and non-profit organizations across the country. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will allow citizenship applicants to pay their application filing fee of $680 with their credit cards. The agency will work with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and expand its services to rural communities. Apart from that, applicants will be offered a variety of naturalization resources. Online civics practice test will be one of the online resources the USCIS will offer.

Some famous naturalized U.S. citizens, like chef and restaurateur José Andrés and actress Diane Guerrero, will take part in these awareness campaigns. Singer and songwriter Dave Matthews and former pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Fernando Valenzuela, will also be a part of the campaign named “Stand Stronger.” This campaign will help increase awareness among legal residents of the contributions made by new Americans.

New York City, Washington D.C., Chicago and Los Angeles are among the 20 American cities that have joined the initiative of the White House. Citizenship learning materials will be made available in languages like Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean and Tagalog. The campaign will include a blitz of television ads. These ads will be promoted by media companies like Univision, Latina Magazine and Entravision.

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