Citizenship Advocates Join With Labor Unions

promoting citizenship to immigrant workers

National Partnership for New Americans

April 24, 2014

Citizenship Day 2014 Highlights Growing Partnership between NPNA and AFL-CIO

15 naturalization workshops planned this Saturday across the country

This Saturday’s Citizenship Day 2014 marks another milestone in a campaign spearheaded by the AFL-CIO and the National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA) to help eligible immigrant workers across the country become U.S. citizens. AFL-CIO locals will assist NPNA in putting on some of their large-scale naturalization workshops on Saturday, April 26 which is Citizenship Day 2014, a national event sponsored by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).

This budding partnership between a major union representing 12.5 million workers and a national organization advancing active citizenship involves education, capacity building, and unique pilot projects that greatly expand capacity to mobilize workers around engaged citizenship. This "Full Citizenship" campaign is launched as Congress debates a path to citizenship for the undocumented, and as immigrant rights groups prepare for the coming voter mobilization season.

NPNA has developed a training curriculum and "tool box" that is being presented to AFL-CIO affiliate unions and Central Labor Councils on how to incorporate naturalization into their civic engagement programs. This training is happening online and in-person, from urban centers in New Jersey to trainings with UFCW packinghouse workers in Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Iowa. Naturalization pilot projects are being planned across several Southern states, including Texas, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia.

"Full citizenship is about equality in our Democracy. We will work to assist immigrants to become citizens, and then to register and vote," said AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Tefere Gebre. "And Congress will continue to deny full citizenship to our New Americans at their own risk."

On Saturday, NPNA will host 15 naturalization workshops sites around the country which will provide assistance to lawful permanent residents eligible for naturalization. Locations of workshops include California, Colorado, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, Washington State, and Washington, D.C. AFL-CIO locals are assisting with several workshops, while other partners include AILA and local service providers.

"NPNA has a strong track record of fighting to reduce barriers to citizenship while simultaneously expanding opportunities," said Joshua Hoyt, NPNA Executive Director. "Our partnership with AFL-CIO aims to inspire workers to naturalize and open doors to them around job training, financial literacy, and voter registration."

Although 8.8 million people are currently eligible to naturalize, only 750,000 have applied each year for the last four years.

Media Contacts

Charlie McAteer, NPNA, 917-696-1321,

Jeff Hauser, AFL-CIO, 202-637-5193,

About The Partnership

The National Partnership for New Americans (The Partnership) advances the integration and active citizenship of immigrants to achieve a vibrant, just, and welcoming democracy for all. The Partnership is a national multiethnic, multiracial partnership that harnesses the collective power and resources of 12 of the largest immigrant advocacy organizations in the country to mobilize millions of immigrants for integration and transformative social change. The Partnership creates and implements innovative programs that help immigrants become active and engaged citizens working for a stronger and more inclusive democracy and a vibrant nation.

The Partnership is: CASA de MarylandCausa OregonCoalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los AngelesColorado Immigrant Rights CoalitionFlorida Immigrant CoalitionIllinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee RightsMassachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy CoalitionNew York Immigration CoalitionNational Korean American Service and Education ConsortiumOneAmerica,Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights CoalitionVoces de la Frontera.