(March 25, 2016) — The Washington New Americans program — in partnership with the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO and several local unions — saw huge success last month with a citizenship clinic in Seattle, where dozens of immigrants took their first step toward becoming U.S. citizens. The organizations are planning the next Citizenship Day event for Saturday, April 23 at Yakima Valley Community College.
TAKE A STAND — Download and post a poster in English or Spanish describing the April 23 event, which will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the YVCC, Deccio Building (Parker Rm) on S. 12th Ave. between W. Baker St. & W. Stewart St. Volunteer immigration attorneys, paralegals and interpreters offer FREE assistance with citizenship applications.
A pre-screening workshop will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. next Wednesday, March 30 at the same location. Come to learn about the process of Citizenship Day and the documents needed to be eligible for citizenship.
At the previous Feb. 6 event, the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 5 not only hosted, but provided essential planning and event support. The Washington State Building and Construction Trades Council and Teamsters Local 117 sponsored breakfast and lunch for the 57 volunteers who devoted their day to helping Legal Permanent Residents on the path toward citizenship.
United Food and Commercial Workers Local 21 sponsored parking costs for the event to ensure the day’s services were accessible to all. The Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO provided crucial support throughout the planning and implementation of this Citizenship Clinic, and ensured the event’s success with their energy and devotion to helping our immigrant communities become civically engaged. The clinic was also made possible by an ongoing partnership with the American Immigration Lawyers Association of Washington State and the National Partnership for New Americans.
In all, 59 clients received citizenship services at the Feb. 6 Citizenship Clinic, a record high of any citizenship clinic for the Washington New Americans program. An impressive 45 of these clients were able to complete their naturalization applications and are now on the path toward citizenship and voting in the upcoming elections.
Clients represented eight different languages and 15 different countries of origin, including Angola, Canada, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Eritrea, Mexico, the Philippines, and Vietnam. The oldest client to attend the citizenship clinic was 85 years old, and is now on her way to becoming a U.S. citizen. The average income among clients was $41,242 for a family of four.
The goal of the Washington New Americans program is to promote successful immigrant integration by connecting eligible Legal Permanent Residents (“green card” holders) to the information and services they need to successfully pursue citizenship and become active members of our community. Citizenship clinics are day-long workshops where volunteer immigration attorneys, paralegals, and interpreters come together to offer assistance with citizenship applications. Permanent Residents interested in applying for U.S. citizenship attend the citizenship clinic to receive FREE citizenship services and resources for preparing for the naturalization interview.
Since the program began, it has held workshops across Washington state, including Aberdeen, Bellingham, Bremerton, Centralia, Des Moines, Mount Vernon, Moses Lake, Olympia, Pasco, Port Angeles, Renton, Seattle, Spokane, Tacoma, Tukwila, Vancouver, Walla Walla, Wenatchee, White Center, and Yakima, and helped thousands of people on their path to citizenship.
“I would recommend this to anyone; it is an awesome program. Thank you for your help. Keep it up. Thank you so much,” one client raved about his experience. Clients who attended the recent Citizenship Clinic praised the program for its quality and reliable services. Another reported, “They clear all your doubts and they help you to correctly fill out the form. The staff was kind and willing to serve.”
Thank you to all the incredible partners and helpful volunteers for this resounding success, and we hope you will publicize and participate in making Citizenship Day on April 23 in Yakima another success. For more information, visit Washington New Americans online or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how you can support this event.