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Speech and Testimony

County Executive Leggett’s Talking Points for Montgomery County Citizenship Initiative

Veterans Plaza, 1 Veterans Place, Silver Spring


As prepared


Welcome and thank you for coming today.


As we are getting ready to celebrate nationally, Immigrant Heritage Month in June, we are excited to announce our Citizenship Initiative!


Working with our nonprofits partners here today and with Cities for Citizenship around the nation to encourage eligible county residents that are currently U.S. permanent residents to apply and become U.S. Citizens!


Currently, Naturalized US citizens in the county- (179,000, or 52% of the County’s immigrants).


Currently we have more than 50,000 County residents from all over the world that are eligible to become citizens!

    • Latin America                    44%

    • Asia                                    29%

    • Africa                                 15%

    • Europe                                10%

    • Other                                     2%

      Total                                  100%



    We all know the great benefits and privilege of being citizens of this great nation.


    Also, recent studies by the University of Southern California (USC) suggests that becoming a citizen can increase earnings 8-11%.


    This is a great incentive and helpful benefit for everyone- individuals, their families and the overall community.  Thus, helping and increasing their economic stability.


    The other great benefit of becoming a U.S. Citizens is the civic duty that we all have - Voting! 


    We will be working with our nonprofits and having ongoing citizenship workshops around the county and in County facilities! 


    The first one will be on Saturday, June 3, at the Rockville Library from 10am-2pm! 



    On the Citizenship Initiative


    We will be working together and collaborating with our nonprofit partners and US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to make sure that we have a successful Citizenship initiative!

    We will develop “Citizenship informational corners” and connecting the immigrant community to resources, materials, information and toolkits available in different languages to help them navigate the process. 


    The Gilchrist Immigrant Resource Center provides vital immigrant services and we will develop Citizenship corners from our sites in Wheaton, Gaithersburg, Germantown, and East Montgomery County Regional Services Center as well as other potential sites in other county/public facilities and with our nonprofits.


    We will host Naturalization Ceremonies around the County with our partners at US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). 


    Thank you everyone!  We are excited to continue to make Montgomery County a welcoming community and a great place to work, live and play! 


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    Release ID: 17-064
    Tuesday, May 23; 10:30 a.m.