City News

Parisi rolls out citizenship resource plan

A plan introduced Thursday by Dane County Executive Joe Parisi would help members of the local immigrant community apply for citizenship.

Members of the immigrant community in Dane County could get new resources aimed at an easing application process for U.S. citizenship, under a new program introduced by the county executive’s office.

The plan, led by Dane County Executive Joe Parisi, would establish a fund to help county residents apply for citizenship and create a new position dedicated to supporting integration of immigrant communities.

“Thousands of immigrants in Dane County are eligible for citizenship but lack the resources to navigate the process,” Parisi said in a Thursday statement. “This plan will help direct and connect residents to resources that will enable them to succeed and give them a fair shot at realizing the American Dream.”

A local organization, selected by the county, would be offered an Immigration Assistance Fund starting at $75,000 under the plan.

Ensuring access for immigrants to resources, including Department of Human Services, Dane County UW-Extension and Public Health Madison and Dane County, would also be addressed in the program.

Requests by community organizations for legal assistance with citizenship issues increased following the election, according to county officials.

“Dane County is committed to ensuring that every resident of our community has access to the opportunity to succeed, to flourish, and to use their unique gifts to help make our community an even stronger and better place for everyone who calls it home,” Parisi said. “Giving our neighbors a hand on their path to citizenship is the first step in that process, and we’re proud to do so.”

The plan would require amending the 2017 county budget, a proposal that would be worked out between the executive’s office and county board.

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