Obama Admin. Partners With Boston, Encouraging More Immigrants To Become Citizens

Getty Images

The Obama administration is continuing its efforts to encourage more immigrants to become citizens, announcing agreement with the city of Boston to promote naturalization.

The agreement with Boston’s Mayor Martin Walsh comes days after U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced another citizenship promotion partnership with New York City.

“There could be no better time for this kind of effort,” Walsh said in a statement. “Like so many places in our country, Boston is becoming more diverse, and this agreement will further the work being done by USCIS and our Office of New Bostonians, which is vitally important to our future.”

Tuesday USCIS Director León Rodríguez and Walsh signed a letter of agreement to expand the effort in citizenship promotion to Boston for three years.

“We look forward to working with the Mayor’s Office of New Bostonians and other city services in providing tools to help immigrants contribute to a thriving, welcoming and innovative Boston,” Rodríguez said.

As in New York City, Boston’s Public Libraries will soon have “Citizenship Corners” carrying USCIS materials promoting and informing immigrants about citizenship. The city will also offer such information as schools, community centers and city buildings.

Additionally, Boston will also hold naturalization information sessions, offer tips on avoiding immigration scams and broadcast public service announcements about citizenship.

In its announcement, the Mayor’s Office pointed to the benefits of citizenship, highlighting the ability to vote and travel with a U.S. passport.

“Research shows that immigrants who have naturalized have more employment opportunities and higher incomes, and experience lower levels of poverty than non-citizens. Citizenship also deepens the sense of belonging in our communities, and helps immigrants become full and active members of society. In addition, citizenship allows for privileges, like voting in elections and traveling with a U.S. passport,” the announcement read.

Boston is the sixth city partnering with the Obama administration to promote naturalization. The other five include New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Nashville, and Atlanta.