State can fund expansion of naturalization support

Before the current Washington state Legislature are opportunities to expand naturalization services to more people who are eligible to become U.S. citizens.

There are some people who think that legal immigrants entering the U.S. can automatically become U.S. citizens. This is not true. There is a very thorough screening process as part of the application process that includes criminal background checks — including offenses such as driving under the influence of alcohol or domestic violence — finger printing and other things.

Because of the complex and thorough process including the need to pass a civics exam, immigrants seek help from local community-based organizations such as Refugee & Immigrant Services Northwest (RISNW) to complete the application process, receive civics instruction and other support to prepare and achieve U.S. citizenship.

Immigrants and refugees have been huge contributors to the building and success of the U.S. The opportunity to become a U.S. citizen is also one important step toward achieving the American dream. It gives them access to certain jobs and protections under the law that native born U.S. citizens receive.

So we support the expansion of funding being considered by the Legislature that would support naturalization programs such as the one administered by OneAmerica. It will make a difference to our community members who need help from trusted organizations like RISNW who, in turn, can expand their naturalization services to serve more people.

Kamal Acharya

Immigrant Services Northwest


Talk to us

More in Opinion

Editorial cartoons for Saturday, March 25

A sketchy look at the news of the day.… Continue reading

Construction workers walk along the underside of the Lynnwood Link light rail tracks on Tuesday, March 29, 2022 in Lynnwood, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Editorial: What’s needed to get Link light rail on track

Sound Transit needs to streamline its process, while local governments ready for rail and stations.

Comment: Lawmakers risk second lawsuit over special education

Legislative funding proposals for special education fall far short of what school districts are due.

Comment: Hydro remains key to our next ‘Great Electrification’

Moving to a carbon-free electrical grid will rely on all sources of clean energy, especially hydropower.

Comment: Legislation could threaten access to telehealth

A bill to protect consumers’ health data could inadvertently undermine teleheath services.

Forum: Don’t allow hate to go unchallenged in our communities

Arlington and Snohomish County can’t stay silent in the face of hate crime attacks of family and friends.

Dan Hazen
Forum: When our thoughts don’t square with beliefs, we justify

We seem easily able to dismiss nagging thoughts when our actions don’t match our stated viewpoints.

Editorial cartoons for Friday, March 24

A sketchy look at the news of the day.… Continue reading

Cathlamet, the Washington State Ferry that crashed in Seattle last month, sits at the Port of Everett on Thursday, Aug. 25, 2022, in Everett, Washington. The ferry will require extensive repairs after a hard landing crumpled one corner of the boat at the Fauntleroy dock on July 28. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Editorial: State needs quicker route for its new ferries

‘Build in Washington’ can be scraped as a mandate, while still counting benefits of in-state shipyards.

Most Read