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Program helps immigrants become citizens

Nov. 27, 2012 at 3:38 PM

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 27 (UPI) -- The New Americans Campaign, a privately funded program in eight cities, is setting up workshops to help legal immigrants become U.S. citizens.

About 40 percent of the permanent residents who qualify for naturalization live in the target cities of Charlotte, N.C., Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York and San Jose, Calif., the Los Angeles Times reported.

The program, funded mainly by foundations that have put up $20 million, works with groups already involved in helping immigrants and is coordinated by the Immigrant Legal Resource Center.

Advocates say the naturalization process can be daunting with a lengthy application and a stiff $680 fee.

"We're going to just grow the number of people who aren't really completely part of the American fabric, who aren't pitching their tent, unless we get them off the sideline and into the game," said Eric Cohen, the center's executive director.

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