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Mayor Bowser Celebrates National Citizenship Day By Awarding Funds to Organizations Committed to Protecting Immigrant Residents in the District

Friday, September 17, 2021

(Washington, DC) – Today, in celebration of National Citizenship Day, Mayor Muriel Bowser highlighted her commitment to protecting immigrant residents’ rights and helping more District residents realize their dream of becoming American citizens. This year, the Mayor increased funding for the Immigrant Justice Legal Services (IJLS) grant program to $3.5 million, and today, announced 24 grantees.

“Together, in the District, we’re giving more immigrants in our community a fair shot at citizenship,” said Mayor Bowser. “This represents our unwavering commitment to upholding our DC values and protecting the rights of our neighbors; it’s an example of how we can work together as a community and use our local resources to break down barriers to citizenship, inclusion, and opportunity.”

In her FY22 Fair Shot Budget, Mayor Bowser allocated an additional $1 million towards the IJLS grant program, bringing the total amount awarded to community and private organizations that offer legal services and programs to immigrants living in Washington, DC, from $2.5 million to $3.5 million. Additionally, the number of programs funded increased from 20 to 24, with four new grantee organizations. Since launching the program in 2017, Mayor Bowser has continually invested in the program, which has become a national model for protecting the rights of immigrants.

The IJLS grant program offers legal services and resources to immigrant residents and their family members. The program complements other community grant programs run by the various constituent service offices and the Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants. Mayor Bowser’s IJLS program also assists residents by offering courses related to the importance of knowing one’s rights. The program targets, but it is not limited to, Green Card holders, torture survivors, survivors of domestic violence, Dreamers, TPS holders, community members who want to become American citizens, residents detained by the federal immigration or customs enforcement, and people wishing to make emergency preparedness plans with their families.

The following organizations and programs will receive funding for FY22: