Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Press Release: Becoming A Citizen: increased access to naturalization aid in CU

[Champaign-Urbana, IL] As of August 1st, permanent residents or “green card” holders on campus and in the greater CU community can now receive free one-on-one assistance in becoming U.S. citizens.  The University YMCA is offering assistance and legal consultation hours on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9am to 12pm. Additionally, the University YMCA also hosts and sponsors citizenship clinics for permanent residents at least once a month. The next citizenship clinic is on Thursday, September 11, 2014 from 9am to 4pm at the Oscar Romero Parish Center, 207 N. Wright Street, Champaign, IL (West of the Presence Covenant Medical Center; on the corner of East Park Street).

How: To schedule a time to meet during office hours, please contact the New Americans Initiative Team at, call us at 217-337-1500 and ask for Megan, or just stop by the University YMCA, 1001 S. Wright St, Champaign and we’ll be happy to talk to you. Please, no walk-ins for legal consultation seekers. Assistance in multiple languages are available, including Chinese, Korean, Spanish, French, and English.

Through the New Americans Initiative, the services the Y offers are free and include:

  • presenting information on the naturalization process
  • providing a checklist of the documents needed
  • assisting with the completion of your application
  • helping you file for an “application fee” waiver, if you are eligible
  • having an attorney review your application and provide legal assistance
  • providing advice and assistance until your oath ceremony

Why: If you are considering becoming a U.S. citizen, we strongly urge you to do it now. The cost of citizenship is increasing every year, and there are many efforts in Washington to make the test much more difficult and the process even more bureaucratic. We also encourage you to volunteer with the New Americans Initiative, assisting others to become U.S. citizens and participate in our Democracy. So...for yourself, for your family, and for your community, take the step to become a U.S. citizen. Continue your American Dream. The Opportunity is Now! Participate. Become A Citizen. Vote.

Additional Information: The New Americans Initiative is sponsored by the University YMCA, the Immigration Project, the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, and the Illinois Department of Human Services. For more information about the University Y, please visit

Who: The University Y is the oldest non-profit organization in Champaign and is dedicated to engaging people in service, reflection, and action. We develop cause-driven leaders, partner with community members and bring them together to address issues that impact us all.

Press Release
For Immediate Release
August 20, 2014

Media Inquiries Contact:
Megan Flowers, Communications Director [217-337-1500,]


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