Nashville Initiative Encourages Immigrants to Seek Citizenship

Jun 12, 2014

Nashville Mayor Karl Dean announces the launch of the Pathways for New Americans program June 11, 2014.
Credit metro

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  Metro Nashville has launched a program designed to help immigrants living in the mid-state to move more quickly toward full citizenship.

The Pathway for New Americans initiative is a partnership between Metro Nashville and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

During remarks announcing the new initiative yesterday, Mayor Karl Dean noted that Nashville has one of the nation’s fastest growing immigrant populations, rising from 2.5 percent a decade ago to nearly 12 percent today.

“This program is a great thing, not just for immigrants, but for the city as a whole. Research shows that immigrants who have been naturalized have more employment opportunities and higher income. They experience lower levels of poverty than non-citizens. But there’s more than just an economic benefit. Naturalization solidifies a sense of belonging in our communities and helps immigrants become full and active members of society.”

Located in five Nashville public libraries and four community centers, the Pathway will provide citizenship classes, English lessons, and other tools to prepare immigrants for the naturalization interview and test.