New Americans Initiative
Promoting civic engagement through United States Citizenship
The State of Illinois is home to 1.8 million immigrants, the sixth largest immigrant population of any state in the nation. Immigrants make up 13.5% of our state's population and 17.5% of our state's workforce. Of these immigrants, 850,000 are U.S. Citizens, and another 370,000 are currently eligible to become U.S. Citizens.
This integrated citizenship campaign run by the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) uses grassroots and media outreach in 25 different languages to provide legal screening, application processing, and English and citizenship test preparation services to immigrants throughout Illinois.
U.S. citizenship is the path to full participation in our nation. You can vote, travel freely, protect yourself and your family members from the possibility of deportation, petition to unite with other family members, hold a wider range of jobs, and have access to all of the rights, benefits, and responsibilities of a full member of the United States of America.
Repeated studies confirm that naturalization increases capacity of immigrants to succeed while simultaneously helping immigrant communities and the economy to grow. The annual median salary increases 55% when a person becomes a citizen, increasing income taxes by $34.1 million. Naturalized citizens are also twice as likely to speak English as non-citizens.