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AILA Announces Citizenship Day 2008

Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 08040972 (posted Apr. 9, 2008)"

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
CONTACT:
Susan Timmons
202-216-2408
stimmons@aila.org

WASHINGTON, DC - On April 19, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) will sponsor "Citizenship Day 2008," a single-day workshop with sites around the country providing assistance to lawful permanent residents eligible for naturalization. This is the second year that the Citizenship Day event will be conducted on a national scale. Last year, fourteen AILA chapters held "citizenship drives" at 27 different locations around the country. More than 350 attorneys and 500 non-attorney volunteers assisted 1,700 clients with their citizenship applications.

AILA is pleased to announce that Citizenship Day is expanding further this year. "After the tremendous success we experienced with Citizenship Day 2007, we were really excited to expand the program to include more chapters and reach more applicants," said AILA Pro Bono Associate Susan Timmons, who has been coordinating Citizenship Day 2008 with member attorneys across the U.S. This year, workshops will be offered in 26 different states, and will be staffed by volunteer immigration attorneys, paralegals, interpreters and other community members. These teams will prepare naturalization applications for free or low-cost (fee varies from chapter to chapter). Applicants will be able to consult with lawyers and supervised volunteers to try to ensure that their documentation is complete.

Recent developments and initiatives regarding immigration issues, including a dramatic increase in the filing fees for naturalization cases, among others, and the increased difficulty of the required testing for naturalization applicants, have resulted in an even greater surge of lawful permanent residents seeking citizenship as they become eligible to do so. Each year, hundreds of thousands of immigrants, from all corners of the globe, embrace the ideals of freedom and democracy and become United States citizens. Statistics show that over 700,000 immigrants became U.S. citizens in during fiscal year 2006 alone, and about 4.5 million individuals have naturalized since the year 2000. "This program is just another example of the dedication and commitment of AILA lawyers to provide support to their communities. The response has truly been inspiring, and we hope to continue to expand our efforts to help," said AILA President, Kathleen Campbell Walker.

Individuals seeking assistance can visit www.aila.org/citizenshipday for more information on events in their area.

The press is invited to cover any of the Citizenship Day workshops taking place in the 26 AILA Chapters.

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The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members. For more information call Susan Timmons at 202-216-2408 or Annie Wilson at 202-216-2435