For the first time ever, the U.S. government is running a campaign to encourage immigrants to become citizens of this country. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is using print media, as well as radio and digital media, in an effort to reach nearly eight million immigrants in the U.S. who are eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship , but who, for various reasons, have not done so yet. With the campaign, the USCIS is hoping to encourage these immigrants to become citizens of the United States, and at the same time become more integrated in the American society. Spokespeople for the immigration authorities say that, on average, about 64% of immigrants eventually become U.S. citizens after they have been in the U.S. for almost ten years. According to reports, many immigrants are happy to live their lives in the U.S. on permanent resident status, working, going to school, raising families, and do not worry about citizenship except when planning to travel abroad, or when it is time to vote. That is why, in an effort to incentivize immigrants, the USCIS is investing large amount of resources in the citizenship promotional campaign, which will cost $3.5 million over three years.
The money comes from an allotment of $11 million set aside by Congress, hoping immigrants in the U.S. will become more integrated in the community. The citizenship promotional campaign features immigrants from China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic. The immigrants are portrayed as “Proud Americans” and share parts of their stories as naturalized citizens of the United States. The campaign will run foremost in California, Texas, and of course, in Florida, and New York as well.