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Program supporting Immigrants in the United States to become citizens

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  • Currently 3.4 million Mexican immigrants living in the USA are eligible for citizenship.
  • The UNAM, the CNDH and FCS collaborate to offer immigrants the tools and accompaniment necessary to become citizens.

3.4 million Mexicans live in the United States who are eligible for U.S. citizenship; however, very few initiate the citizenship process.

The benefits of citizenship in the United States are many, among which are the following:

  • Being a citizen provides stability by avoiding deportation, ensuring families remain together.
  • Enables access to better jobs and better wages.
  • Ensures access to education for their children and the possibility of obtaining scholarships.
  • Citizenship helps to guarantee respect for their human rights.

Lack of information creates the perception that the citizenship process is inaccessible for the majority of the eligible immigrants. Some of the reasons they do not seek citizenship are: they don’t speak English, they don’t have money, they are not clear about the advantages or for fear of losing Mexican citizenship.

In an effort to support our compatriots in the United States, the Mexican National Autonomous University (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México) (UNAM), the National Human Rights Commission (Comisión Nacional de los Derechos Humanos) (CNDH) and the Carlos Slim Foundation (Fundación Carlos Slim) (FCS), collaborate to offer immigrants the tools and accompaniment necessary to obtain citizenship. This alliance constitutes the core of the “Program to Support Immigrants in the United States”.

Today a meeting was held in San Antonio, Texas, among Enrique Graue Wiechers, Rector of the UNAM, Raúl González Pérez, president of the National Human Rights Commission and Héctor Slim Seade, of the Carlos Slim Foundation, with the directors of the branches of UNAM located in the cities of Chicago, Los Angeles, San Antonio, Seattle and Tucson. Reyna Torres, consul of Mexico in San Antonio also attended; and representatives of Latino organizations in the United States, including, Carmen Cornejo, President of the Board of Directors of Chicanos por la Causa, with whom FCS had also established a collaboration agreement for financing the cost of the citizenship process for immigrants; this support will initiate in a first stage in Arizona.

In the UNAM branches, the program provides free on-site training for immigrants through the tools of the Acceso Latino platform, developed by the Carlos Slim Foundation. Specifically, accesolatino.org has the tool “Ciudadanízate” (Become a Citizen), a course through video lessons that prepare immigrants to pass the exam that the U.S. authority applies to become a citizen.

Acceso Latino also provides information developed by the CNDH, titled “El Plan es tener un plan” (The Plan is to have a plan), the purpose of which is to learn how to protect the family and its assets, and how to obtain a lawyer when necessary.

As a complement, through Acceso Latino there is relevant information on topics such as:

  • Free legal assistance with pro-bono lawyers.
  • Psychological counseling by telephone and whatsapp messaging.
  • Information on how to get loans to pay for the citizenship process.

In addition to the work done on-site in the five UNAM branches, anyone interested can use, free of charge, the tools offered at www.accesolatino.org