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County Executive Leopold to Reallocate Funding for Citizenship Program

Move comes after Center for Help declines its County grant funding for program for legal immigrants

Annapolis (August 21, 2008) - County Executive John R. Leopold today announced that he will reallocate funding for a citizenship program to Bethany Christian Center after the Center for Help (Centro de Auyda) declined the County funds. The $14,000 in funding was included in the Fiscal Year 2010 budget and was to be used to assist those who want to take the legal path to U.S. citizenship through the Center. The Center for Help had submitted a grant application to the County and had originally agreed that the funding would only go towards assisting legal immigrants, a stipulation insisted upon by the County Executive.

Because of the decision by the Center for Help to decline the funding, County Executive Leopold worked with the Office of Minority Affairs to identify another organization that would provide this important service. Bethany Christian Center of Annapolis has come forward and will provide the citizenship program under the leadership of Pastor David Jimenez.

County Executive Leopold said, "While I will continue to stand firm against illegal immigration, I also believe that help must be provided to those who want to be citizens the right way, by following U.S. immigration law. My policy is to crack down on illegal immigration while also extending a helping hand to those who want to play by the rules and secure U.S. citizenship through proper legal channels."

County Executive Leopold continued, "I am grateful to Pastor Jimenez for stepping up to help those that want to become legal citizens of the U.S."

County Executive Leopold will now shift the funding to Bethany Christian Center for the program. The funding will pay for teaching and supplies. The program will assist those with permanent residence status gain U.S. citizenship.


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Anne Arundel County, Maryland. 44 Calvert Street, Annapolis, Maryland 21401 | Tele: (410) 222-7000