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RNC launches program to help immigrants prepare for naturalization test

Associated Press/Eric Gay
A man passes an early voting poll site, on Feb. 14, 2022, in San Antonio. Voters in heavily Hispanic parts of South Texas cast record numbers of ballots in the state’s Republican primary last week, leaving the GOP excited about a growing shift toward their party.

The Republican National Committee (RNC) on Thursday announced it was launching an initiative that aims to help immigrants prepare for the naturalization test.

The effort, called the Republican Civics Initiative (RCI), will offer a 10-hour course, divided into four sessions, “to help future voters” pass the civics portion of the test, according to an RNC press release.

The first course starts Thursday in Doral, Fla., at the RNC Hispanic Community Center. Additional courses will be held in battleground states across the country, including Texas, Georgia, Nevada, California and Pennsylvania.

“The RNC is growing our Party through purposeful education and engagement. Our commitment to provide opportunities for all to live out the American dream is broadening our base because our ideas transcend all backgrounds,” RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said. 

“Unlike Democrats, Republicans do not take minority communities for granted and we will continue to work to earn each vote ahead of November.”

Republicans have been aiming to increase support from minority communities, particularly Hispanic voters in competitive House districts in the upcoming midterm cycle, taking a number of steps they hope will attract the crucial voting bloc.

Democrats have long counted Hispanic voters as a core constituency, but the party has been slow to put resources into keeping them in its corner. And Democrats are seeing danger signs that make them fear the continuation of a rightward shift they blame for some 2020 losses. 

The RNC said as of January 2021 there were more than 9.2 million lawful permanent residents who are eligible to become citizens and vote but have not been naturalized, almost 2.5 million of whom are from Mexico. 

Immigrants who attend the course will learn the answers to basic civics questions that would appear on the naturalization test and have a celebration after completing the course. 

The people leading the sessions will be trained by the RNC Strategic Initiatives staff, who are certified instructors with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and given adapted materials from USCIS. 

The RNC’s statement says most lawful permanent residents are in areas where the RNC already has staff and community centers to assist them. 

Along with USCIS, the RNC plans to work with nonprofits such as Civics Fundamentals.

The initiative from the RNC to help immigrants pass the naturalization test comes as the USCIS also announced a new citizenship ambassador initiative this week. 

USCIS will partner with local leaders who will share their own experiences to encourage immigrants to become naturalized citizens.

Tags Hispanic voters Hispanic voters Lawful permanent residents naturalization test Republican National Committee RNC RNC Ronna McDaniel
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