News Release

Congress Introduces Urgently Needed Bill to Eliminate Roadblocks to Citizenship for Eligible Residents and Improve Immigrants’ Integration

October 30, 2019

WASHINGTON, DC—Yesterday, U.S. Representatives Grace Meng (D-NY), Jesús “Chuy” García (D-IL) and Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), introduced the “New Deal for New Americans Act,” a bill that presents a proactive, solutions-focused immigrant integration proposal that moves our nation forward. According to UnidosUS (formerly National Council of La Raza), this legislation will help build a more welcoming and inclusive society, eliminate roadblocks to citizenship for eligible residents, protect due process and grow our shared prosperity.

While significantly broader in scope, the new legislation builds on an earlier bipartisan bill, the New American Success Act, sponsored in two successive Congresses by former Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), that UnidosUS helped to shape.

The bill includes provisions that UnidosUS has long championed such as an Office on New Americans to lead a coordinated integration strategy that brings in state and local governments and community stakeholders. Additionally, the bill addresses obstacles that make it difficult for eligible permanent residents to naturalize and it creates federally funded programs for English language learning to build the skills of immigrants and prepare our diverse workforce for better jobs that support families and help grow our economy.

“The solutions offered in this bill are desperately needed. Today’s immigrants are no less willing to commit to their new home than those who came before them, but they are met with greater challenges due to an increasingly divided and underfunded patchwork of services at the federal, state and local levels,” said UnidosUS President and CEO Janet Murguía, “As a result, millions of ‘Americans-in-waiting’ cannot access services that would facilitate their successful integration, limiting the extent to which the United States can benefit from the contributions of this diverse and growing segment of the population.”

UnidosUS has a robust history of advocacy related to immigrant integration. Informed by our Affiliate Network across the country, community-based organizations providing a wide array of services, our integration work has ranged from incorporating immigrants into the financial mainstream, to providing access to quality health care, to reducing barriers to naturalization and English courses.

“We welcome the introduction of this bill because it remains in the national interest to ensure today’s new immigrants have the resources that benefited previous generations to become new Americans and more fully contribute to their country,” concluded Murguía.

UnidosUS, previously known as NCLR (National Council of La Raza), is the nation’s largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization. Through its unique combination of expert research, advocacy, programs, and an Affiliate Network of nearly 300 community-based organizations across the United States and Puerto Rico, UnidosUS simultaneously challenges the social, economic, and political barriers that affect Latinos at the national and local levels. For more than 50 years, UnidosUS has united communities and different groups seeking common ground through collaboration, and that share a desire to make our country stronger. For more information on UnidosUS, visit www.unidosus.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Contact:
Gabriela Gomez
news@unidosus.org
(202) 776-1732