The IRC in Boise is launching an initiative to raise funds to support its citizenship programs. We hope you will join us in helping refugees and immigrants in Idaho to achieve this final step in their resettlement process and enjoy all of the benefits of our democracy. DONATE NOW.
What is important about U.S. Citizenship?
Being a U.S. Citizen is powerful. Legally, it is the safest immigration status, where deportation is possible only in extraordinary, rare circumstances. Socially, it gives the power of belonging, wholly, to the United States. Civically, it calls people to participate in the responsibilities and duties that we all share to make our communities safe: jury duty, conversations about what our government should prioritize, and participation in decision making about our local community services, like school funding.
What will we accomplish with our Citizenship Campaign?
We will help a large number of people who are already here in Idaho secure more protected immigration status. Before this campaign, we helped 225 people get citizenship, and many more people get green cards (lawful permanent residency) in the year from Oct 2015 to Oct 2016. By making the application process free for refugees and immigrants, IRC aims to increase the number of people who finish the process and become citizens.
So in 2017, the IRC in Boise has prepared 150 citizenship applications. With the citizenship campaign, we hope to help another 250 people get citizenship, and many more people get their green cards this year.
How will our Citizenship Campaign work?
Each donor will be matched to a specific applicant seeking citizenship or a green card (depending on the sponsorship level chosen by the donor).
IRC will complete all the work to prepare a high quality application, applying our knowledge of immigration law to the information shared by the applicant to make sure that it is safe for them to apply, and the information included in the application is accurate. Each application is reviewed by an Immigration Attorney or Board of Immigration Appeals Accredited Representative licensed to practice immigration law. Each application includes IRC’s work to apply an individual for a fee waiver from USCIS, if the individual qualifies.
Each applicant will prepare themselves for the Citizenship exam. Each applicant will choose whether they will participate in IRC’s free citizenship exam prep classes, or ask for an IRC citizenship mentor to work with them individually to practice.
Each applicant will be presented with a choice of whether they would like to invite the sponsor, who donated to make IRC’s work on their application free to them, to their Citizenship ceremony when they pass the exam.
How will the funds raised be used?
The donation amounts will pay for IRC staff time preparing and reviewing individual immigration applications. Sponsorships will be applied towards applications of both refugees and immigrants.
There is a high demand from refugees and immigrants for citizenship support. People who have held green cards for many years are stepping forward to finish the process. Families have sometimes before made difficult decisions to protect one family member and not others due to the cost. Now, with the support of IRC's dedicated donors, these families will not have to face these gut wrenching decisions. Any funds raised in excess of those needed for the immediate needs of the clients will support the IRC in Boise's immigration program, including coordinating large scale citizenship workshops, promoting know your rights workshops and citizenship exam prep classes.