Citizenship clinic held in LA to mark National Citizenship Day

From left to right: Mike Fong (Board of Trustees, LACCD), Vinh Ngo (Senior Vice President, Bank of America), Marvin Martinez (President, East Los Angeles College), Congresswoman Judy Chu (House of Representatives, 27th District), Councilmember Sergio Calderon (City of Maywood), Nasim Khansari (Citizenship Project Director, Advancing Justice – Los Angeles)(Photo by Advancing Justice-LA)

LOS ANGELES – The largest citizenship clinic of the year was held by Asian Americans Advancing Justice –LA (Advancing Justice-LA) Saturday to mark the National Citizenship Day.

Southern California is home to an estimated 300,000 Asian immigrants eligible for U.S. citizenship. Of this, more than half live in Los Angeles County alone. In 2012, the number of legal permanent residents (LPRs) from Asia and the Pacific settling in Los Angeles was more than double that from Mexico. The only protection from deportation is having citizenship, according to Advancing Justice-LA.

The Pan-Asian Citizenship event provided free citizenship services for over 150 registered attendees, including eligibility screenings, application and legal assistance, and photo-taking. The event also offers services in seven Asian languages in addition to Spanish and English.

“It’s clear there is strong motivation to naturalize among immigrants in the Asian American and Pacific Islander community,” said Nasim Khansari, director of Advancing Justice-LA’s citizenship project. “Our goal is to encourage as many eligible people as possible to naturalize and become a U.S. citizen. Now is the time to not only protect yourself, but to make your voices heard.”

“The Trump Administration has shown no sympathy for immigrant communities and, with the rescinding of DACA, undermines our core values as a nation,” says U.S. Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27). “It is important that every person who is eligible for naturalizing take the steps to become a U.S. citizen and strengthen their voice in our great democracy.”

Advancing Justice-LA’s citizenship team is available Tuesday through Friday to help provide application assistance. All staff are supervised by an immigration attorney or accredited representative. 

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