SANTA ANA, Calif. — For immigrants working toward the American Dream, some employers are now helping them reach their dream of becoming Americans.
Health clinics, hotels and a clothing factory are pairing up with immigrant advocates to offer on-site citizenship assistance as one of the perks of the job in greater Los Angeles, Miami, Washington and Silicon Valley as they aim to make naturalization more convenient for the 8.5 million legal immigrants eligible to become U.S. citizens.
The effort is billed as a win-win for both employee and employers: Workers avoid legal fees and having to shuttle to and from law offices to complete applications; companies create a deeper bond with immigrant workers and there’s little cost as nonprofits pick up the tab.
Connecting immigrant workers and business comes from The Bethlehem Project that "works with businesses to assist their eligible immigrant employees with the citizenship process so they become full participants in the workplace, community, and economy. Statistics show a direct correlation between immigrant integration and happier, more effective workers that directly impacts business profitability," notes the website.
It further notes, "Pilots have been established in 4 cities with high concentrations of legal permanent residents in the workforce:
- Los Angeles, California: nearly 1.6 million eligible for citizenship
- Miami, Florida: 520,000 eligible for citizenship
- Silicon Valley, California: 252,000 eligible for citizenship
- D.C. Metro Area: 270,000 eligible for citizenship"