By Bob Katzen

The Senate 39-0, approved an amendment increasing by $500,000 (from $1,033,019 to $1,533,019) funding for the “Citizenship for New Americans Program” to assist eligible low-income legal permanent residents of the Bay State to become citizens of the United States. They said that this program leads to high rates of success on the naturalization exam.

Supporters said the program would provide instruction in English and civics and assistance to help immigrants fill out the 22-page application. They noted that these programs enjoy high rates of success on the naturalization exam. They argued that one in six Massachusetts residents is foreign born, and more than 200,000 people in Massachusetts are currently eligible for citizenship.

Amendment sponsor Sen. Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton) said this funding will enable these programs to meet continued high demand for these services. “I am proud to represent a district with many vibrant immigrant communities throughout it,” Eldridge said. “Recently, I have been assisting Neighborhood Support Teams in the town of Harvard and the city of Marlborough resettle Afghan evacuees who aided in our country’s fight against the Taliban. I look forward to the day that these people who risked their lives for our nation become citizens.”

(A Yes” vote is for the additional $500,000).

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