MA Immigrant & Refugee Advocacy Coalition Civic
MIRA believes that attaining citizenship is the best indicator of an immigrant's successful integration into American society. As such, we advocate for increased state and federal funding for citizenship services, including ESOL and civics classes.
Almost half of all the foreign-born residents in Massachusetts are naturalized U.S. citizens. Nationally, an average of 680,000 foreign-born residents have become citizens annually over the past decade, for a total of 6.6 million New Americans since the start of this century.
Part of full integration means participating in one of the greates privilege of citizenship, voting. The number of foreign-born Massachusetts residents eligible to vote from 2000 to 2006 increased by 28%, reaching almost half a million by 2007. For more information on the size and potential power of this population, see the Immigration Policy Center's fact sheet, "New Americans in Massachusetts"
MIRA recognizes that some of these New Americans may not become fully integrated in the American fabric even after becoming citizens, which is why we have placed new emphasis on ntegration, hosting that National Immigrant Integration Conference in Boston in September 2010 and launching the New Americans Integration Institute in 2011.