New initiative to help immigrants apply for citizenship


San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee announced Tuesday a public-private partnership that will help eligible immigrants living in the city to become U.S. citizens.

Lee joined Board of Supervisors president David Chiu and community partners at City Hall to announce the San Francisco Pathways to Citizenship initiative.

The initiative, a three-year partnership between the city’s Office of Civic Engagement & Immigrant Affairs and six philanthropic organizations, will fund work to inform and support immigrants about their rights to apply for U.S. citizenship, according to the mayor’s office.

About 100,000 San Francisco residents are eligible for citizenship, with more than 60 percent coming from the Asian-Pacific Islander community and more than 80 percent between the ages of 18 and 64, according to the mayor’s office.

The city is providing half of the $400,000 annual funding for the initiative.

Mayor Lee said in a statement that the benefits of citizenship will allow eligible immigrants to “pursue new opportunities and be part of building San Francisco’s economy and civic life from the very beginning.”

Chiu noted that one-third of San Francisco small businesses are operated by immigrants and said the initiative “is an investment in our future, and the unique partnership between the city, community and philanthropy will ensure a stronger San Francisco for all.”

(Copyright 2013 Bay City News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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