(Houston, Texas)—The New Americans Campaign National Naturalization Practitioners' Conference, being held Oct. 12-14 in Houston, is the only national conference dedicated exclusively to naturalization. The conference will bring naturalization practitioners from all over the country to discuss how to remove barriers to citizenship, share best practices, mobilize nine million people eligible to naturalize, and provide crucial guidance on helping eligible immigrants become citizens. TaKasha L. Francis, Director of the Department of Neighborhoods for the city of Houston, will give remarks to kick off the conference.
"Our annual conference brings together New American Campaign (NAC) partner organizations from around the country to discuss and share expertise on supporting people eligible to apply for naturalization," said NAC Director Lucia Martel-Dow. "Eligible immigrants often don't know how to take that final step since our immigration system is a myriad of confusing forms and policies. Thus, building a network of trusted naturalization providers is crucial to meet the demand for services."
Unlike a typical conference, which brings in external experts to train or inform, the NAC conference is a peer-to-peer, network-building, best practices exchange. The conference aims to build a collective impact infrastructure through deep collaboration among over 250 attendees.
"I have been so impressed with how innovative NAC partners have been in helping eligible immigrants navigate the naturalization process," said Martel-Dow. "In 2021-2022, nearly one million immigrants became U.S. citizens, the third highest tally on record, which is remarkable given this occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic and amidst other economic factors that can deter people from seeking to naturalize. NAC hopes we can exceed that record in the near future."
Martel-Dow thanked Houston Endowment for its commitment and investment in the NAC's work, including this year's NAC conference, and its significant support of naturalization in the Houston area. She also thanked partner organizations of the NAC site in Houston and one of NAC's leading local collaboratives. Since 2011, local partner organizations in Houston have helped over 20,000 people apply for naturalization and achieve their dream of citizenship.
The NAC is the largest collaborative devoted to increasing naturalization rates among eligible lawful permanent residents with more than 200 organizations, and it offers help to make this process easier. Anyone interested in becoming a citizen can start their journey with the NAC. Visit our website at www.newamericanscampaign.org, where you can find answers to your questions about naturalization and connect with local organizations in your area that can help you on your journey.