The New Americans Initiative

The New Americans Initiative is a non-profit partnership between the State of Illinois and the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights to help you through the process of becoming a U.S. citizen, with FREE assistance.

U.S. citizenship is the path to full participation in our nation. You can vote, travel freely, protect yourself and your family members from the possibility of deportation, petition to unite with other family members, hold a wider range of jobs, and have access to all of the rights, benefits, and responsibilities of a full member of the United States of America.

The New Americans Initiative of the University YMCA also assists Illinois residents in applying for Deferred Action (DACA).

What services does the Y's New Americans Initiative provide?

The New Americans Initiative, a non-profit partnership with the State of Illinois provides FREE* services such as:
  • Presenting information on the naturalization process
  • Providing a checklist of the documents needed
  • Assisting you with an overview of the (N-400) application
  • Helping you learn more about application fee waiver options (i-912) to help you cover the cost of the filing fee
  • Providing legal referrals and legal resources, including low-cost or pro-bono legal services
  • Providing friendly advice and assistance until your oath ceremony
  • Avoid Immigration Scams

    Find more information about the naturalization process including all the forms, fees, and more on the official U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services website at and find qualified pro bono immigration attorneys here and accredited representatives here.

    The Y cannot provide you legal advice, but we can provide helpful referrals and give you non-legal, community-focused advice. Questions? Contact Gloria Yen by email at or by phone at217-337-1500. For assistance in Spanish or French (or to request other language assistance), contact the Y's La Linea Community Helpline which provides over-the-phone referrals to social services and other community resources in Champaign County.

La Línea

The University YMCA's La Línea Community Helpline is a Spanish/French/English helpline that specializes in over-the-phone community resource referrals and in-person advocacy counseling. La Línea is a free and confidential community helpline that works to bridge the gap in social services in Champaign County. Call us at 217-417-5897 anytime day or night and leave a message with us about any help you need. We'll get back to you within one business day.

Community members call to receive more information and identify resources about a number of topics including (but not limited to): Child Support, Emergency Childcare, Immigration, Legal Assistance, DACA and other Immigration Legal Assistance, TVDL Assistance, Education, Employment Issues, General Information, Healthcare, Housing, Interpretation, Job Preparation, Mental Health, Work Permit, Food and Clothing Assistance.

When providing referrals, we strive to provide referrals to free or affordable options that match the caller's budget. For more information, visit: