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Salt Lake City — U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will award English Skills Learning Center a grant of $250,000 to support its citizenship preparation services for permanent residents through September 2015. English Skills Learning Center is one of 40 organizations from 21 states to receive a total of nearly $9.9 million under USCIS’ fiscal year 2013 Citizenship and Integration Grant Program.
Since the program began in October 2009, the USCIS Citizenship and Integration Grant Program has helped more than 66,000 permanent residents in 31 states and the District of Columbia prepare for citizenship. Through Sept. 30, 2015, USCIS anticipates that an additional 31,000 permanent residents will receive citizenship preparation services.
“There is a continued need for high-quality citizenship preparation services in communities across the country,” said USCIS director Alejandro Mayorkas. “This funding will help thousands of permanent residents gain the support they need to learn English and civics, and embrace the important rights and responsibilities of United States citizenship.”
Since 1988, the English Skills Learning Center (ESLC) has provided English language instruction through small group classes and tutoring to underserved immigrants. ESLC was first awarded a USCIS grant in 2011. ESLC serves refugees and immigrants from Mexico, Somalia, Sudan, Iran, Burma, Iraq, Burundi, Bosnia, Bhutan, and Peru. In partnership with Catholic Community Services of Utah, ESLC will use its 2013 funding to offer naturalization application services for the first time. ESLC will provide citizenship instruction to 400 permanent residents and provide naturalization application services to 500 permanent residents.