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Bipartisan bill addresses integration process for immigrants

Representatives from Florida and California have collaborated to introduce a bill designed to assist immigrants as they adjust to life in American society. The immigration process can be challenging for newcomers, and the legislation endeavors to ensure access to programs that will help with needs such as learning English and civics. Labeled as the New American Success Act, the bill would allow the creation of a National Office of New Americans, an oversight agency that would offer counsel and coordination for varied organizations and agencies dedicated to assisting immigrants as they acclimate to a new culture. Additionally, the Task Force on New Americans would be established to monitor policies related to integration. The task force would make recommendations to members of Congress as well as to the executive branch.

According to statistics, approximately 8.7 million legal permanent residents of the U.S. are currently eligible to apply for citizenship. Two grant programs would be initiated through the bill to enhance services to these individuals. One would encourage opportunities for the funding of civic, economic and language education. The other would provide funding options for organizations engaged in helping immigrants working to become naturalized.

The proposed legislation carries the support of many pro-immigrant and Latino organizations, and leaders of these organizations have expressed appreciation for the bi-partisan effort. Authors of the bill emphasize the benefits to the nation as immigrants transition into society and become productive, contributing positively to the economy.

Those meeting challenges in finding programs to help as they participate in the naturalization process may find that this bill will help. However, the bill must first be passed for its benefits to be felt. Meanwhile, attorneys who are experienced in immigration and naturalization law may provide assistance and information to those seeking educational programs and other services related to their integration into U.S. society and culture.

Source: VOXXI, "Bipartisan bill seeks to help immigrants integrate into U.S. society", Griselda Nevarez, June 24, 2014

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