Press Conference Explores Why Immigrants Can’t Afford to Naturalize

Boston area advocates discuss new national report; call on Congress, U.S.C.I.S. to support “Green Card” holders pursuing dream of American citizenship


CHELSEA — Tomorrow, Friday February 15, local immigrants and community based organizations will gather at Centro Latino in Chelsea to present local detail on a new national report exploring the detrimental effects of high citizenship fees. “Nurturing Naturalization: Could Lowering the Fee Help?” indicates that the $680 naturalization fee has become a major barrier to applying for U.S. citizenship for legal immigrants in low-wage jobs, a group that overwhelmingly desires to become American.

This report was conducted by the University of Southern California Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII) and commissioned by the National Partnership for New Americans. The report builds on a report released last week by the Pew Hispanic Center (“The Path Not Taken”). Both reports indicate that the American Dream of citizenship has become unaffordable for many immigrants to the U.S. The Pew report further indicates that fully 93 percent of Latino immigrants would become U.S. citizens if they could afford to do so. The new USC report goes a step further, exploring why citizenship is beyond reach for so many — the high cost.


WHAT: In-person press conference on the high cost of naturalization

WHEN: Friday, February 15, 9:30 a.m.

WHO: Speakers include


Silvia Da Silva, Brazilian immigrant, wife and mother living in Ashland who had difficulty collecting enough money to naturalize

Eva Millona, Executive Director, Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition

John Rattigan, Citizen Specialist, Irish International Immigrant Center

Maria Tavares, Cape Verdean immigrant who waited 20 years to be able to afford citizenship

Juan Vega, Executive Director, Centro Latino


WHERE: Centro Latino

267 Broadway,

Chelsea, MA 02150

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