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Reduce Financial Barriers to Immigration and Citizenship

WASHINGTON, D.C. The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund today released the following statement from CEO Arturo Vargas following the introduction of the Reduce Financial Barriers to Immigration and Citizenship Act of 2021 in the U.S. House of Representatives:

“NALEO Educational Fund commends the introduction of this critical piece of legislation and urges its passage through Congress. As naturalization confers significant economic benefits on our nation, we must do everything we can to promote our recovery from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic—that includes accessible and affordable naturalization.

“When eligible lawful permanent residents (LPRs) become U.S. citizens, they strengthen their economic contributions to their communities through greater homeownership, business growth, and access to better employment opportunities. This is good for the economy and all Americans. Additionally, when naturalized citizens participate in the electoral process, they make our democracy more robust, demonstrating the promise of America to those who call it their home.

“The Reduce Financial Barriers to Immigration and Citizenship Act of 2021 would safeguard several existing application fee waivers from executive action by codifying them into law, helping ensure that U.S. citizenship is more affordable for low- and moderate-income LPRs. The act would also streamline the naturalization process by providing additional funding for United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to reduce case backlogs.

“NALEO Educational Fund commends U.S. Representatives Norma Torres (D-CA) and Grace Meng (D-NY) for their leadership in bringing this legislation to the U.S. House and urges all members of Congress to support it.”


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