VOICES FROM THE FIELDTHE IRC BLOG
What citizenship is about
November 13, 2012 by The IRC
|A young Burmese refugee who is receiving support from the IRC to resettle in the United States.|
Photo: Peter Biro/IRC
"When I first picked up my American passport — the key item attesting to my citizenship — it was like an impossible dream turning into reality. I belonged! That is what citizenship is about."
- Andy Grove, co-founder and former CEO of Intel Corporation, IRC Overseer
For many refugees who are given sanctuary in the United States, American citizenship represents the ultimate sense of belonging in their new country. With this in mind, the International Rescue Committee has joined forces with the New Americans Campaign, a nonpartisan effort initiated by a network of immigration organizations across the country to help legally permanent residents become American citizens.
Eight million people qualify for citizenship based on their "green card" resident status, but only 8% of them become citizens each year. High application fees, a complex citizenship process, and unscrupulous people who take advantage of individuals seeking legal assistance are just a few of the obstacles they have to deal with.
The IRC’s citizenship program, “Pathways to Citizenship,” focuses on assisting refugees and other vulnerable populations, and is funded by the Grove Foundation.
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