AILA and NALEO Educational Fund to Help Thousands of Aspiring New Americans on National Citizenship Day

Belle Woods
Amanda Bosquez
202-546-2536, 361-548-6989 (cell)

Organizations will host nearly 40 events in cities and towns across the country as part of a national day of action on Saturday, September 15, 2018

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 15, 2018. Now in its twelfth year, this event brings together AILA attorneys, NALEO affiliates, law students, paralegals, interpreters, and community members across the country to assist lawful permanent residents seeking to naturalize and become U.S. citizens. The effort will result in nearly 40 naturalization clinics in cities and towns around the nation.

According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of Immigration Statistics, an estimated 8.8 million lawful permanent residents are eligible to naturalize.

"Becoming an American citizen is an extremely important step in an immigrant's journey, culminating years of dedication to the United States. All Americans benefit from welcoming new citizens who accept their responsibilities to the U.S. as part of the naturalization process" said Anastasia Tonello, AILA President. "In a time of uncertainty and fear, given the administration's concerted efforts to reduce immigration, the safety and security that come with citizenship is tremendously powerful. AILA and its members proudly join with NALEO Educational Fund to offer free or low-cost citizenship clinics for eligible immigrants."

"Helping the 8.8 million immigrants who are eligible to become New Americans helps us build a stronger America," stated Arturo Vargas, NALEO Educational Fund chief executive officer. "Increasing the number of eligible immigrants who take the next step by naturalizing results in significant economic benefits, both for the individuals who become citizens, as well as for our communities and nation as a whole. A 2012 study found that citizenship alone can boost individual earnings by 8 to 11 percent, leading to a potential $21-45 billion increase in cumulative earnings to the national economy over ten years."

By offering free or low-cost assistance in a single-day nationwide event, AILA Citizenship Day, aims to address and assist those eligible lawful permanent residents who have not pursued naturalization. AILA Citizenship Day is only possible because of the partnerships between the NALEO Educational Fund, the nation's leading nonprofit organization that facilitates the full participation of Latinos in the American political process, and AILA chapters across the country.

Citizenship Day clinics will be held around the country; for interested media, please visit the list of clinics and coordinators here.

Cite as AILA Doc. No. 18091231.