Dane County Executive Parisi Announces Plan to Help Residents Gain
Citizenship and Better Attain Services
From Dane County

Recentlyy, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced a plan to help Dane County residents gain United States
citizenship and better attain services. The plan rolled out today at a press conference will create a brand new Immigration
Assistance Fund which will help more Dane County residents apply for citizenship. Parisi also announced the creation of a
new position, Immigrant Affairs Specialist, in the Dane County Tamara Grigsby Office for Equity and Inclusion which will work
with immigrant communities to support immigrant integration through coordination of county services.

“Thousands of immigrants in Dane County are eligible for citizenship but lack the resources to navigate the process,”  said
County Executive Joe Parisi. “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.”

Since the election of President Trump, community organizations have received a significant increase in requests for legal
assistance to receive citizenship and have reached out to the county for assistance. The Immigration Assistance Fund will
be administered by an organization that wins a competitive process and will start off with $75,000 from the County.  The
County is also asking that organization to raise additional private funds to assist more residents work through the legal path
to citizenship.

The new Immigrant Affairs Specialist for Dane County will be a bilingual Spanish speaker. The position will provide outreach
to organizations that support immigrant communities on how to navigate county services, including but not limited to those
services provided through the Department of Human Services, Dane County UW- Extension and Public Health Madison and
Dane County. The position will work to improve accessibility of county services to immigrant communities and refer
residents to outside agencies and organizations that provide necessary non-county services.

The plan to help more Dane County residents receive their citizenship will require amending the 2017 county budget. The
County Executive will work with the County Board on adopting that budget.

“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 concluded. “Giving our neighbors a hand on their path to citizenship is the first step in that process, and we’re
proud to do so.”