New Jersey's 11th Legislative District

Senator Jennifer Beck

Senator Jennifer Beck

Beck Legislation to Fund “Citizenship Rutgers” Naturalization Program Advances

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The Senate Higher Education Committee advanced legislation sponsored by Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) to support the Citizenship Rutgers immigration law project at Rutgers University which helps legal permanent residents to attain citizenship.

Sen. Jennifer Beck’s legislation would support the Citizenship Rutgers immigration law project at Rutgers University which helps legal permanent residents to attain citizenship. (Facebook/Citizenship Rutgers)

The measure, S-1558, would make a FY2016 supplemental of $200,000 from the General Fund to Citizenship Rutgers to support the organization and naturalization assistance events across the state.

“Many of New Jersey’s 600,000 permanent legal residents have lived here for decades and dream of citizenship, but they have not move forward due to the complexity and cost of the naturalization process,” said Beck. “Citizenship Rutgers provides those who choose to follow the legal process to attain citizenship with the direction and support they need to understand how to become naturalized.”

Citizenship Rutgers was launched in 2011 by students, faculty, and staff at Rutgers University to help legal permanent residents address the challenges of the naturalization process.

The project provides free individual consultations with experienced immigration attorneys; knowledgeable, language appropriate application assistance; passport-sized photos; citizenship test questions; and English as a Second Language referrals.

Under the legislation, the appropriation may be used for advertising, hospitality, personnel, and facility costs associated with the events as well as to support the salaries of Rutgers University – Camden employees who will coordinate the events and conduct other work related to the Citizenship Rutgers project.

At least one event must be held in each of the northern, central, and southern regions of the state.

“If we want people to go through the legal immigration process, we need to provide the resources to make citizenship attainable,” added Beck. “Perhaps if people see that citizenship is a real possibility for those who follow the rules, more will choose to come to the United States through the proper process and fewer through the back door.”

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