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NEW YORK – Today, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, and Citi jointly launched Cities for Citizenship – a major initiative aimed at increasing citizenship among eligible U.S. permanent residents to forge more inclusive and economically robust cities.
Cities for Citizenship will enable cities to expand naturalization and financial capability programs, as well as access to legal assistance, microloans and financial counseling, boosting economic opportunity for immigrants and communities nationwide. The effort will be coordinated by two leading non-profit partners, The Center for Popular Democracy and the National Partnership for New Americans, with the aim of encouraging cities across the country to invest in their citizenship programs. In total, Citi Community Development, the founding corporate partner, is contributing more than $1 million to the program.
There are currently 8.8 million legal permanent residents in America who are eligible for citizenship. These are documented residents, who pay taxes and work lawfully, but 52% of whom remain low-income. Their naturalization would provide access to better paying jobs (up to an 11% increase to their personal earnings), academic scholarships, and a myriad of other benefits. It would also provide a $37 billion to $52 billion lift to the national economy over the next ten years. This would mean up to $1.6 billion for Chicago’s economy, $2.8 billion for the Los Angeles economy, and a $4.1 billion boost for New York City’s economy, according to “Citizenship: A Wise Investment for Cities,” available at http://on.citi.us/1oPWemB. This report by the Center for Popular Democracy and the National Partnership for New Americans with the USC Dornsife Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration is a preview of a larger study New York City will release next year with Citi Community Development’s support.
“Immigrants who become naturalized citizens make significant contributions to our communities, our city, and our country and it’s in our collective interest to promote naturalization in Chicago,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “We are proud to join Mayor Garcetti of Los Angeles and Mayor DeBlasio of New York in leading Cities for Citizenship, which will help thousands of immigrants in Chicago and in cities across the country through the naturalization process, leading to economic benefits for our immigrant families and city as a whole. “
“Immigrants are the backbone of our economy. It's time we encouraged their successful integration into our social and political tapestry to continue boosting our economy and not stand in the way of it," said Mayor Eric Garcetti. "We are committed to expanding citizenship education and making sure people have the help they need to navigate this complex system.”
“I’m proud to stand today with my fellow mayors Rahm Emanuel and Eric Garcetti as we launch the national Cities for Citizenship initiative,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “This win-win effort will help us create more inclusive cities that lift up everyone. From increased economic activity to larger voting and tax bases, the advantages of citizenship will not only expand opportunity to our immigrant families, but to all New Yorkers and residents nationwide.”
“Citi believes that citizenship is an asset that enables low-income immigrants to gain financial capability, and building a national identity must go hand-in-hand with building a financial identity,” said Bob Annibale, Global Director of Citi Community Development. “We are proud to work with Mayors Emanuel, Garcetti and de Blasio to launch this initiative, which will lead to direct economic benefits for immigrant families and their communities.”
Cities for Citizenship will connect mayors and municipalities with immigrant organizations and the business, faith and labor communities in public-private partnerships.
"The National Partnership for New Americans believes that Cities for Citizenship will encourage millions of immigrants to take the important step of becoming U.S. citizens and full participants in the economic, cultural, and civic life of this nation. NPNA will bring immigrant organizations into partnership with Mayors to grow Cities for Citizenship in dozens of cities across the U.S." said Eva Millona, the co-chair of the National Partnership for New Americans and herself a naturalized U.S. citizen.
“We applaud the Cities of New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles for making a wise investment for all of our communities,” said Ana Maria Archila, Co-Executive Director of the Center for Popular Democracy. “In addition to infusing local economies and workforces with a new vitality, Cities for Citizenship will strengthen our nation’s commitment to an inclusive democracy. We hope other cities will join us in this ground-breaking initiative, and join the growing number of American cities that are modeling progress for the federal government.”
Follow the initiative on Twitter with #Cities4Citizenship. Learn more at CitiesforCitizenship.org.
Impact of Cities for Citizenship:
New York City
Citi Community Development is leading Citi’s commitment to achieve economic empowerment and growth for underserved individuals, families and communities by expanding access to financial products and services, and building sustainable business solutions and innovative partnerships. Our focus areas include: commercial and philanthropic funding; innovative financial products and services; and collaborations with institutions that expand access to financial products and services for low-income and underserved communities. For more information, please visit www.citicommunitydevelopment.com.
Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.
Additional information may be found at www.citigroup.com | Twitter: @Citi | YouTube: www.youtube.com/citi | Blog: http://blog.city.com/ | Facebook: www.facebook.com/citi | LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/citi
About National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA)
The National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA) is a national multiethnic, multiracial partnership. NPNA harnesses the collective power and resources of the country’s 20 largest regional immigrant advocacy organizations to mobilize millions of immigrants to become active and engaged citizens, working for a vibrant, just, and welcoming democracy for all. NPNA sponsors the annual National Immigrant Integration Conference and, in the past two years, NPNA partners have assisted over 50,000 immigrants to become U.S. citizens and pursue legal status. Additional information may be found at www.partnershipfornewamericans.org | NIIC: integrationconference.org Facebook: www.facebook.com/newamericanspartnership | Twitter: @npnewamericans
About The Center for Popular Democracy (CPD)
The Center for Popular Democracy (CPD) promotes equity, opportunity, and a dynamic democracy in partnership with base-building organizations, organizing networks and alliances, and progressive unions across the country. CPD builds the strength and capacity of democratic organizations to envision and advance a pro-worker, pro-immigrant, racial and economic justice agenda. Visit www.populardemocracy.org and www.twitter.com/popdemoc.
Media Contacts: Citi Public Affairs, 212-793-7682 or email@example.com
Eve Rodriguez (City of Chicago) 773.457.0398 or Everodriguez@cityofchicago.org
Oliver DelGado (City of LA), 213.978.0741 or Oliver.DelGado@lacity.org
Mayor’s Press Office (City of New York), 212.788.2958, firstname.lastname@example.org
Alison R. Park (CPD) 917.805.0830 or email@example.com
Charlie McAteer (NPNA), 917.696.1321 or firstname.lastname@example.org