AILA Public Statements, Press Releases

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

9/19/17 AILA Doc. No. 17091900. Naturalization & Citizenship
Amanda Bosquez
361-548-6989 (cell)
Belle Woods


Assistance will be available at more than 30 events nationwide and through NALEO Educational Fund’s toll-free bilingual hotline 1-888-839-8682


WASHINGTON, DC - The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund are proud to sponsor AILA Citizenship Day, taking place on Saturday, September 23, 2017. Now in its 11th year, this event brings together AILA attorneys, NALEO Educational Fund staff, law students, paralegals, interpreters and community members across the country to assist lawful permanent residents seeking to gain U.S. citizenship.

The effort will result in more than 30 naturalization clinics in cities and towns around the nation. Given the recent rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program by the Trump administration, some clinics will also offer free assistance for DACA grantees wishing to renew before the October 5, 2017, deadline. "Helping someone apply to become an American citizen is one of the most treasured aspects of being an immigration attorney," said Annaluisa Padilla, AILA President. "As an asylum seeker from Guatemala, I know the safety and security that comes with becoming a citizen and how seriously new Americans take the rights and obligations that come along with naturalization and full integration into civil society. AILA and its members proudly join with NALEO Educational Fund to offer free or low-cost citizenship clinics for eligible immigrants."

In addition to the clinics nationwide, NALEO Educational Fund will also provide assistance to potential new Americans through its toll-free bilingual hotline 1-888-839-8682. "Taking the next step is the only way for lawful permanent residents to secure the full rights and protections afforded to U.S. Citizens under the law," stated Arturo Vargas, NALEO Educational Fund executive director. "For too long though, barriers like cost and lack of access to information and assistance have prevented many of these lawful permanent residents from realizing their dream of U.S. Citizenship. On September 23, 2017, we will join AILA and work side-by-side to remove as many of these barriers as possible as we help thousands of potential new Americans successfully navigate and complete the naturalization process at events nationwide."

According to the Department of Homeland Security, Office of Immigration Statistics, in 2014, more than eight million legal permanent residents were eligible to naturalize. By offering free or low-cost assistance in a single-day nationwide event, AILA Citizenship Day aims to address and assist those eligible legal permanent residents, who, for various reasons, have not pursued naturalization.

AILA Citizenship Day is possible because of the partnerships between NALEO Educational Fund 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 on


About AILA
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.

About NALEO Educational Fund
NALEO Educational Fund is the nation's leading non-profit, non-partisan organization that facilitates full Latino participation in the American political process, from citizenship to public service. For more information about NALEO Educational Fund please visit