The mission of the Hispanic Affairs Project is to provide leadership development, advocacy, and key services for the integration of our community. Our integration efforts are focused on our western slope communities, but we also recognize the importance of immigrant integration campaigns at the national level. This is why we’re so excited about the New Deal for New Americans Act.
The New Deal for New Americans Act is a new piece of federal legislation that promotes immigrant and refugee integration across the United States. While the act is aimed at mobilizing resources at the federal level, it would do so in extensive coordination with state and local communities. It would support immigrants’ and refugees’ involvement in the social, economic, and civil life of their communities, while protecting and strengthening the rights that allow them to live here.
The legislation was introduced today, October 30th, by U.S. Representatives Grace Meng (NY), Jesús Garcia (IL), and Pramila Jayapal (WA). The act is based on the policy priorities of the National Partnership for New Americans and its allies.
Here’s what the New Deal for New Americans Act is all about!
Promoting U.S. Citizenship and Immigrant and Refugee Inclusion
The act would make it easier for immigrants and refugees to obtain citizenship by:
- Freezing citizenship application fees.
- Introducing fee waivers to improve access to citizenship at all socio-economic levels.
- Making automatic voter registration available on a voluntary basis.
It would also create a federal Office of Citizenship and New Americans to facilitate immigrant and refugee integration and inclusion across the federal, state, and local levels.
Strengthening America as a Welcoming Society
The United States, once a world leader in refugee resettlement, has lowered resettlement levels to historic lows at a time when the number of refugees is at its highest level since World War II.
The New Deal for New Americans act would restore the levels to reflect the current need, and rebuild the capacity of local resettlement agencies to accomplish their task.
Expanding Legal Services and Access to Justice
All immigrants have the right to due process. Unfortunately, the immigration system does not always afford it to them. Availability of and access to legal services are critical in ensuring that immigrants and refugees receive fair treatment before immigration courts.
The act would affirm immigrants’ right to counsel, and support immigration legal services, including:
- Immigration screening
- Know-Your-Rights education
- Assistance in applying for citizenship, lawful permanent residents status, or other legal status or seeking relief from removal
Promoting Access to Workforce Development and English Language Programs
Development of English language and workforce skills is critical in ensuring that new Americans can support their families and integrate into their communities.
The act would:
- Expand access to English language learning programs designed to meet the unique needs of these communities
- Commit federal resources to education and workforce training for immigrants and refugees
- Ensure access to training and workforce development programs is available on an equitable basis
What can you do to support the New Deal for New Americans Act?
Tell your representatives that you support this legislation! Read the letter written by the sponsoring legislators who introduced the legislation, and contact your representatives to tell them you support a coordinated immigrant integration campaign across the United States.
Learn more about the New Deal for New Americans Act at the National Partnership for New Americans.