It appears that the Biden administration is working on an unprecedented effort to encourage eligible immigrants to apply for American citizenship, according to CNN. The effort is understood to stem from one of Biden’s early executive orders that urged federal agencies to build “welcoming strategies that promote integration, inclusion, and citizenship.”
A Citizenship and Immigration Services official told CNN that “the idea is to find a whole-of-government way to reach out to people who are able to naturalize.” According to the official, there are, at present, at least 9 million people in the country who are lawful permanent residents and could potentially apply for citizenship.
These efforts, for instance, include conducting naturalization ceremonies at locations like national parks in order to increase awareness and engaging with the Department of Veteran Affairs and other veteran service organizations to spot ways to educate veterans and service members about citizenship, among other things.
Biden is attempting to strike a different tone compared to that of the previous administration on matters like immigration. Former President Donald Trump, during the course of his presidency, attempted to double down on citizenship and curtail legal immigration. The Trump administration also made changes to the crucial naturalization exam, making it more challenging to clear. After taking office, President Biden rolled back such changes made by Trump.
While previous administrations have encouraged naturalization, President Biden’s strategy tasks additional agencies to work with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services to have wider outreach.