LOS ANGELES – A “Pan Asian Citizenship Event” was held in East Lo Angles Saturday in recognition of National Citizenship Day on September 17.
According to the Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles, the event was hosted by the Endless Possibilities, Citizenship Now campaign.
Southern California is home to an estimated 300,000 Asian immigrants eligible for U.S. Citizenship. Of this, more than half, or 165,000, live in Los Angeles County alone, according to AAAJ-Los Angeles.
The Pan Asian Citizenship Event provided free services in more than seven Asian languages to nearly 150 individuals seeking U.S. citizenship. Attorneys and BIA accredited staff, trained according to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) standards, provided eligibility screenings, guidance on securing fee waivers for those eligible and legal assistance to those applying for citizenship.
“U.S. citizenship protects immigrants from deportation, provides access to better jobs and increased income, as well as qualifies family members for immigration to the United States,” said Nasim Khansari, Citizenship Project Director for Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles.
“Los Angeles is home to more than 1 million people who speak an Asian language. Through the Endless Possibilities campaign, we hope to empower those whose native language is not English to take the first step towards U.S. citizenship. We want the community to know that they will be supported throughout the entire process by people they can trust with their private and confidential information.”
“With changes like increases to the application fee in the near future, we want to make sure that those who are eligible obtain citizenship with the help of trusted attorneys and staff for free or at low-cost,” said Stewart Kwoh, President and Executive Director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles. “Citizenship really is the beginning of Endless Possibilities and we are grateful for the support of our nonprofit, media, government and elected partners in this comprehensive effort to serve the Asian American community.”