A Bumpy Path to U.S. Citizenship: A Survey of Changing USCIS Practices Webcast, July 16

Even as U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) continues to approve the lion’s share of naturalization applications it receives, the agency’s average processing times have risen significantly in recent years. The backlog of citizenship cases has grown in 2020, with the naturalization process grinding to a halt for several months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And it will swell further if USCIS furloughs two-thirds of its staff in August amid a projected $1.2 billion budget shortfall.


Nine million immigrants are eligible to become U.S. citizens but have not done so for a variety of reasons. These include lack of desire to embark on a lengthy process that includes English and civics tests, and barriers such as application cost and limited English proficiency. A more recent element has been added to the mix: increasingly strict scrutiny of applications by USCIS officers as the agency shifts its focus from customer service to fraud detection.


A forthcoming Migration Policy Institute (MPI) report traces the agency’s evolving adjudication standards and procedures for citizenship applications during the Trump administration, drawing on a nationwide survey of naturalization assistance providers administered by the Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC). The report findings will be shared during this MPI webinar, which features officials who oversaw the citizenship process during prior administrations, as well as the study’s lead researcher and ILRC‘s Executive Director.


The discussants will examine the increasing obstacles to citizenship as a result of changing USCIS practices, and the effects the pandemic-related shutdown and USCIS financial turmoil could have on the ability of would-be Americans to take the oath of citizenship in the months ahead.


Register at: http://my.migrationpolicy.org/p/salsa/event/common/public/?event_KEY=89661

Security & Geopolitics in the Mediterranean: Current & Future Scenarios Webinar, July 15

Wednesday, July 15, 2020 at 12:00 p.m. ET


The Mediterranean area is passing from an epochal transition that is bringing it back to the world stage like a century ago. The failure of Arab Spring with terrorism, proxy wars, and migrations are just some of the instability elements. The retreat of U.S. presence opened space for regional powers and great powers competition in the area. Italy is at the center of the Mediterranean is unable to assert leadership (blocked by EU and its culture/history). Turkey is taking the lead but clashing with Egypt and the Arab world (also on Political Islam). The U.S.-China Cold War is affecting Mediterranean, MENA, and Africa, from BRI to 5G. Russia also entered these areas.

African demographic bomb, coupled with the climate change disasters, state failures at economic and political levels, will increase instability. Covid-19 and the new normal of the pandemics era will create more conditions for insecurity. Human security will be a must besides state security. NATO’s role is also changing (bigger European role and new strategic concepts). Energy needs are moving towards sustainable but not enough. Future decades will see either a showdown of regional conflicts or a great bargain between all the actors involved: EU, NATO, Israel, Arab world and African Union.


Register at: https://apus.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJUsc-iuqDksEtwAsNyzm7T9t-bjat5V0emp

FEMA Updates State and Local Hazard Mitigation Planning Policies Webinars, July 14 & 16

This year, FEMA is initiating updates of the state, local and territorial mitigation planning policies, also known as “Mitigation Plan Review Guides.” The updates guide the review and approval of these hazard mitigation plans. During this cycle, there are no updates to tribal mitigation policies.


The policies are updated to incorporate language related to new FEMA grant programs, as well as to make administrative updates and other changes to clarify requirements and improve grant and program procedures.


FEMA will host three, one-hour webinars for state, local and territorial partners to learn about the process for these policy updates. Each session includes the same information.



For questions about the webinars contact FEMA-MitPlan-Guide-Updates@fema.dhs.gov or the FEMA Regional Mitigation Planning Lead in your region. For more information on the planning policies, visit the FEMA website.


Online/Blended Training Webinar, July 21

This webinar is designed to introduce participants to the theories of on-line blended training.  These tools and techniques could be used to communicate and train others more efficiently than traditional classroom deliveries.  Real-world examples of how these methods have influenced EMA training and operations will be provided.


Register at: https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/m?oeidk=a07eh5wijkm5630f197&oseq=&c=&ch=

Designing Online Courses for Student Engagement Webinar, August 6

2 – 5 p.m. ET


FEMA National Training & Education Division – Higher Education Program in partnership with the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense & Security Center – University & Agency Partnership Program An academic professional development learning opportunity


Whether you’re designing your first online course, transitioning a face-to-face (F2F) class to an online environment, or looking to increase student engagement in your current online courses, join Dr. Caroline Hackerott and Professor Beth Gray for an afternoon exploring multiple strategies to increase student engagement, including Team-Based Learning (TBL). Participants will explore challenges and opportunities that online learners and environments offer to emergency management/homeland security (EM/HS) educators. Working within empirically supported frameworks, participants will have the opportunity to develop learning activities designed to enhance student engagement no matter what the subject matter. Fully participatory, this workshop will also support the creation of personal peer networks and activities designed for your own class and context. Opportunities for developing scholarship of teaching of learning (SoTL) research in your own course will also be discussed.


Registration Link (capacity 100 participants): https://zoom.us/j/93496841961

FEMA EMI Higher Education Community Webinar, July 24

The Higher Education Community conference call is Friday, July 24, 2020, from 2-3 p.m. on ZoomGov. Link to the community call. Meeting ID: 160 4678 0270, Password: 621901. Learn from the emergency management academic community about what is new and exciting in their world. Find out about ongoing projects and discuss community needs that the Hi Ed Program can address. Contact Wendy Walsh, wendy.walsh@fema.dhs.gov, with discussion topics.

FEMA releases ‘Planning Considerations: Disaster Housing’

FEMA has released “Planning Considerations: Disaster Housing.” Housing recovery is the cornerstone of a community’s recovery and ultimate resilience. By helping survivors achieve sustainable housing after a disaster, state and local leaders move their communities toward stability and resiliency for future incidents. This document supplements “Comprehensive Preparedness Guide (CPG) 101: Developing and Maintaining Emergency Operations Plans” by providing guidance on national housing priorities, types of housing, key considerations and housing-specific planning recommendations that jurisdictions can apply when developing or improving housing plans. This tool should be used along with the Six-Step Planning Process described in CPG 101. Although the document is not specific to any particular threat or hazard, many of the concepts, principles and resources contained in the guide can be applied to coronavirus (COVID-19) response and recovery efforts.

Credit hours approved for attendance at the Natural Hazards Workshop

The 45th Annual Natural Hazards Workshop has been approved for *19 contact hours* toward the Certified or Associate Emergency Manager (CEM/AEM) contact hour requirement under the International Association of Emergency Managers Certification Program!


The Association of State Floodplain Managers has also approved *12 continuing education credits* through their Certified Floodplain Manager Program!


This year’s workshop will be conducted virtually on July 12-15.  Complete details are available at: https://hazards.colorado.edu/workshop/2020?fbclid=IwAR01jIUdJBkeJTZHjcwxtzApS1sooh2kAtOAnUX0IGhDrkx0EQteihZiZvA

Hurricane Readiness for Emergency Managers (English and Spanish) Webinar, July 29 & Aug 5

Please join FEMA Region II for a webinar on hurricane readiness and preparedness for emergency managers. This session will provide a brief overview of hurricane hazards, forecast products, and resources for hurricane planning and response. These webinars are available in English and Spanish:

  • English: Wednesday, July 29, 2020, from 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. ET. To register, click here.
  • Spanish: Wednesday, August 5, 2020, from 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. ET. To register, click here.