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AILA Doc. No. 19091003 | Dated September 10, 2019
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Organizations will host dozens of events in cities and towns around the nation as part of a national effort on and around Saturday, September 14, 2019
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund are proud to sponsor AILA Citizenship Day, taking place on Saturday, September 14, 2019. Now in its thirteenth year, this event brings together AILA member attorneys, NALEO Educational Fund affiliates, law students, paralegals, interpreters, and members of the community who can help lawful permanent residents take the final steps toward naturalization to become U.S. citizens. This effort will result in dozens of naturalization clinics in cities and towns across the country.
According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of Immigration Statistics, nearly 9 million lawful permanent residents or “green card holders” are potentially eligible to naturalize.
“Taking the oath and becoming an American citizen is the culmination of an immigrant’s journey to the United States. Applying for naturalization is only possible after an immigrant has dedicated years to our country and can meet the English language and civics testing requirements. Our shared prosperity increases with each new American that takes on the rights and responsibilities of citizenship,” said Marketa Lindt, AILA President. “Enfranchised immigrant communities strengthen our country. AILA and its members are proud to join again with NALEO Educational Fund to offer free or low-cost clinics for immigrants who meet the criteria for U.S. citizenship.”
Arturo Vargas, chief executive officer of NALEO Educational Fund, added, “with Latinos making up half of all immigrants who are eligible to naturalize, services like these clinics are critical to ensuring the dream of American citizenship is alive for our community. Immigrants directly contribute to America’s entrepreneurial spirit and creativity. We know from a 2015 study that 18% of all small businesses in the United States are immigrant-owned. These are the very businesses that fuel the American economy. The inspiring stories of these immigrants should remind all Americans of how important naturalization is to the fabric of our society.”
By offering free or low-cost assistance during this nationwide event, AILA Citizenship Day aims to address and assist eligible lawful permanent residents who have not yet completed the naturalization process. AILA Citizenship Day’s success springs from the partnerships between NALEO Educational Fund, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization that facilitates the full participation of Latinos in the American political process, and AILA chapters throughout the country.
Cite as AILA Doc. No. 19091003.