While there are likely many in the Miami area who are interested in becoming citizens of the United States, individuals are not the only ones that care about immigration matters. Many businesses in the area are also watching the immigration debate in our nation's capital with great interest. There are many reasons employers are interested in the subject apart from fulfilling skilled positions. It also provides good publicity for the business and promotes diversity in the workplace.
As employers wait for matters to be worked through at the national level, some are taking action to assist employees who want to become citizens, and are eligible to do so. In some cases this is being accomplished through the assistance of the Bethlehem Project.
One statistic indicates that nationwide there are currently 8.2 million legal permanent residents, who could, upon taking the proper steps, become citizens of the U.S. Of that number, more than 2.1 million are found in Los Angeles and Miami. While each situation is different there are likely several reasons that these individuals have not done what is necessary to become citizens. These reasons include:
- The average $2,700 price tag associated with the process
- A lack of time to study for the English and civics test
- The time associated with completing all of the necessary paperwork and applications
To assist individuals facing these challenges, businesses in Miami and various other cities in the country can partner with the Bethlehem Project to help employees address these matters at their workplaces. Employers provide a place for workers to meet and sometimes paid time off. In turn, the Bethlehem Project brings in local service providers to assist with studying and completing the necessary applications.
The demand for such programs is expected to grow once immigration reform is complete.
Source: Huffington Post, "Businesses Help Employees Along the Road to Citizenship," Ali Noorani, May 28, 2013