NIIC 2017 Media Releases

FOR PLANNING PURPOSES - December 7, 2017
Contact: Susana Flores,, 915-525-2434

NIIC 2017 Conference
December 10-12, 2017
Phoenix Convention Center
100 North 3rd Street
Phoenix, AZ 85004

ADVISORY: Congressman Luis Gutierrez and Civil Rights Icons Dolores Huerta, Robert Moses and Heather Booth to Address the National Immigrant Integration Conference

To obtain credentials, please contact Susana Flores at

PHOENIX - As thousands of immigrant youth and advocates ramp up the pressure on Congress to pass the Dream Act, the annual National Immigrant Integration Conference (NIIC) prepares to welcome immigration reform champion Congressman Luis Gutierrez (IL-4) and longtime civil rights icons Dolores Huerta, Robert Moses and Heather Booth who will be featured speakers during the plenary “The Way Forward: Organizing and Democracy” at the gathering of over a thousand attendees.

Celebrating its tenth year, NIIC is the largest convening of leaders and advocates in the country setting the agenda to build, deepen and broaden the power and support with and for immigrant and refugee communities. Congressman Gutierrez, who announced his intention to retire at the end of his term, will address the conference, galvanizing advocates for commonsense immigration reforms, naturalization efforts, and civic engagement.

Congressman Gutierrez joins an impressive list of speakers and leaders, including civil rights advocates Dolores Huerta, Robert Moses and Heather Booth among others, participating at the 10th annual conference, sponsored by the National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA) and co-hosted by Promise Arizona. Arizona co-hosts include Chicanos Por La Causa and One Arizona. NIIC will underscore its theme “And Justice for All”, focusing on sharing and developing strategies to protect, strengthen, and integrate immigrants and refugees into America’s democracy.

For more information or to request an interview, contact Susana Flores at or 915-525-2434.

Visit for to view the full list of plenaries and speakers. Find us on Facebook

WHAT: The National Immigration Integration Conference (NIIC) to convene over a thousand leaders, advocates and service providers, focusing on protecting immigrant families and supporting their integration and advancement as essential contributors to our nation, with “justice for all.”

WHEN: December 10-12, 2017 / Sunday - Tuesday

WHERE: Phoenix Convention Center, 100 North 3rd Street, Phoenix, AZ 85004

WHO: For a complete list of plenaries and speakers, visit The NIIC is sponsored by the National Partnership for New Americans and hosted by Promise Arizona. The Arizona Executive Committee Partners are One Arizona and Chicanos Por La Causa.


For immediate release, October 27, 2017:

New Report Shows Record Spike in US Citizenship Applications, Revealing Unprecedented Processing Backlogs

Lawful Permanent Residents in Pursuit of American Dream Disgracefully Delayed by a "Second Wall", Left Hanging in Limbo for Unreasonable Periods of Time

Washington, D.C. - A new report by the National Partnership for New Americans, Building a Second Wall: USCIS Backlogs Preventing Immigrants from Becoming US Citizens details the sad and disgraceful state of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) processing backlogs, highlighting two remarkable trends in the history of naturalization in this country.

Key Findings

  • In the time since the 2016 presidential primary elections and now through the Trump Administration's first year in office - 1,028,647 lawful permanent residents have applied to become U.S. citizens, a 10.5% increase over the same period last year

  • Currently there are 708,638 pending applications, an increase of 35.23% in the backlog of pending applications over last year and a 77% increase in the last two years

The release of these national findings comes on the heels of a recent New York Times exclusive, exposing these irresponsible, heart-crushing delays in processing, while showcasing the pride, resilience, and human spirit of many of these families caught in processing limbo.  

Despite the nationwide coordinated nonpartisan efforts led by the Naturalize NOW Campaignand its broad range of stakeholders and coalition partners, the report exclaims that such massive backlogs are contributing to the formation of an added barrier and institutionalization of a 'Second Wall', that will undoubtedly delay families from permanently protecting their loved ones.  But even more critical still is how this Administration's perceived 'slow-walking' of these citizenship applications will delay long time immigrants, from their much anticipated entry to the ballot box.

Angelica Salas, Executive Committee Member, National Partnership for New Americans and ‎ Executive Director, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights said, " While the persistent attacks from President Trump and his Administration have attempted to demean, criminalize, and dehumanize immigrants, our efforts to encourage those who qualify to become U.S. citizens continues because this is our America too.  The fact that large numbers of immigrants continue to apply to become full participants in our democracy is a good omen of great things to come for our country.  We trust and will work hard to ensure the Trump Administration does not build a 'Second Wall' to keep eligible immigrants from becoming voting U.S. citizens."

Ben Monterroso, Executive Director, Mi Familia Vota said, "The process can now take up to one year, when previously folks could expect to wait no more than 6 months.  Despite these slow processing times, we remain steadfast in our commitment to educating our community and supporting them through their application process.  We actively remind people that submitting their applications is precisely what gets them one step closer to having their voice be heard in a big way - by casting their vote in the next elections."

"The good news here is that so many see past the meanness and smallness of the current administration," said Rocio Saenz, President of iAmerica Action , "to the deeper values that bind us as Americans and the continued promise of the American Dream-We welcome them one and all as fellow citizens."

The report offers direct policy recommendations that include urging USCIS to consider prioritizing resources to quickly process naturalization applications and bring the wait time down to six months. The report calls on Congress to investigate why these delays are occurring and recommends providing USCIS with a special funding allocation to address their application backlog challenges.

There are few issues within the immigration fields that are not controversial in the current climate - the case of lawfully present and eligible immigrants who have gone through the time and expense of pursuing the dream of U.S. citizenship should be one of them.  All of us should work together to tear down the 'Second Wall' of barriers that prevent immigrants from pursuing their dream of U.S. citizenship and rights as equal partners at the table of our democracy.

Executive summary here.

Full report here .

NIIC 2017 in the News