Montgomery College Awarded $250,000 Grant From U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to Support Citizenship Instruction and Naturalization Services for Montgomery County Residents

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Per Montgomery College:

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced $10 million in FY2021 Citizenship and Integration Grant Program awards to 40 public and private non-profit organizations across the country that prepare lawful permanent residents (LPRs) for naturalization. Montgomery College, one of only two recipients in Maryland, was awarded a $250,000 grant.

The College is receiving a grant under Citizenship Instruction and Naturalization Application Services. The College will provide at least 320 lawful permanent residents with citizenship preparation classes, activities to support integration into American civic life, and naturalization application services. Learners will have beginning to intermediate levels of English proficiency and will come from 80 different countries including, but not limited to, El Salvador, Honduras, Peru, Iran, India, and Ethiopia.

The College’s Citizenship Preparation Program uses the Enhanced Integration Tasks (EIT) model to help learners integrate into the receiving community. The program also works with local libraries and community-based organizations to enhance LPRs knowledge of available naturalization services.

Montgomery College will continue to partner with Immigration Legal Services (ILS) of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington D.C. ILS will provide naturalization application assistance to approximately 320 LPRs and will help at least 240 LPRs apply for naturalization over the next two years.

“We are grateful that USCIS continues to support the Montgomery College Citizenship Preparation Program,” said Dr. Charlene Dukes, interim president of Montgomery College. “Since 2010, Montgomery College has served more than 3,000 learners through this grant-funded opportunity, helping students increase their knowledge of English, as well as U.S. history and civics in preparation to becoming new Americans. The College is proud to support these LPRs, who enrich the culture and communities of Montgomery County.”

The Washington, D.C. area is fourth in the nation of immigration destinations for LPRs, ranked only behind New York, Miami, and Los Angeles. Maryland’s foreign-born population of 931,035 represents 15.4% of the total population of Maryland. Montgomery County is home to 337,060 of these residents.

Since 2009, the Citizenship and Integration Grant Program has awarded more than $112 million to help more than 290,500 LPRs prepare for citizenship. USCIS anticipates that an additional 25,000 LPRs will receive citizenship preparation services by Sept. 30, 2023, as a result of the awards issued through the grant program.

The Citizenship Preparation Program is part of Montgomery College’s Workforce Development & Continuing Education unit. For more information, please contact Dean of Instruction Dr. Donna Kinerney at Donna.kinerney@montgomerycollege.edu.

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