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DHS proposes new government body to 'promote citizenship' among immigrants

Photo Credit: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

The Department of Homeland Security is asking Congress to create a new government entity called the United States Citizenship Foundation, which would "promote citizenship, immigrant civic integration, and instruction in the English language."

DHS put the idea forward on Wednesday in a formal legislative proposal for Congress to pass. According to a Senate aide, DHS said the proposal was "related" to President Barack Obama's 2016 budget request.

Photo Credit: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services The Department of Homeland Security is proposing new legislation to create a new body, led by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, to promote citizenship among immigrants. Photo Credit: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

However, it seems unlikely to move given Republican control of both the House and Senate. GOP leaders in both chambers have been extremely hesitant to advance any immigration bill, and instead have focused on trying to stop Obama's executive action on immigration.

Many Republicans are also likely to see the idea of a Citizenship Foundation as one that would make it even easier for illegal immigrants to gain legal protections or U.S. citizenship.

According to DHS's proposed bill, the foundation would help train immigrants on "citizenship rights and responsibilities," "promote the importance" of U.S. citizenship, and help coordinate "outreach and educational initiatives" with other federal agencies.

While proposals to create a new federal entity often allow members of Congress from both parties to appoint its members, the DHS legislative proposal doesn't give Congress any say in who would run it.

Instead, it said the foundation would be run by a board, which would include the director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and the chief of the office of citizenship within USCIS. Seven other people "who are United States citizens" would then be appointed by the director.

Read the proposed DHS bill here:

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