CHIRLA Joins NPNA in National ‘Naturalize NOW’ Campaign to Encourage Citizenship in the Central Valley to Help Build the Future of Local Communities and the Nation
Melissa Stek, NPNA, firstname.lastname@example.org, (616) 550-8039
Jorge-Mario Cabrera, CHIRLA, email@example.com, (562) 243-5559
PORTERVILLE, CA – CHIRLA and the National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA) celebrated Citizenship Day, coming up on September 17, by hosting open-to-the-public naturalization presentations followed by a celebration and press conference to encourage eligible U.S. residents in the Central Valley and beyond to apply for U.S. citizenship. The “Central Valley: All In For Naturalization!” event was part of the national Naturalize NOW campaign to reach out to people who are eligible for citizenship to encourage them to apply and help them navigate the process. Recording available here.
There are more than 9.2 million Legal Permanent Residents (LPRs) nationally that currently qualify for U.S. citizenship, and California tops the list of states with nearly 2.3 million LPRs eligible to naturalize.
Said Angelica Salas, Executive Director, CHIRLA: “We all know the invaluable work of our community as they toil the fields in the San Joaquin Valley from sun-up to sun-down feeding California and the rest of the country. Similarly, becoming a citizen for those who qualify is invaluable and can help change the future of a community as new citizens become active voters. This is why CHIRLA is pleased to be a source of information and services for anyone wanting to take the next step to become a citizen. We are here to help.”
“NPNA’s Naturalize NOW campaign will support eligible immigrants and refugees in pursuing their dreams of becoming U.S. citizens. We must build a nation where immigrants, refugees, and all people can achieve their full social and economic potential,” said Nicole Melaku, Executive Director of the National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA). “The urgency of growing our democracy and the burden the USCIS fee increases would place on future U.S. citizens are why it is so important to Naturalize NOW. Our vote is our voice and by increasing the number of people getting naturalized we can make sure their voices are heard.”
Announced at the event was CHIRLA’s “Ciudadanía En Tus Manos” initiative, an interactive bilingual English and Spanish video study guide to prepare people for their citizenship civics exam. The video library of more than 100 videos will be open to anyone via the @ChirlaCiudadania TikTok page and will include easy-to-follow instructions, subtitles, and graphics in a looping video to allow participants to study repeatedly and with ease. This initiative is part of CHIRLA’s efforts to empower more people to become U.S. citizens. The channel will officially open September 14, 2023. Samples of the videos are available upon request.
In Porterville—where over 24% of the population was born in another country—and in cities across the nation, Naturalize NOW will equip local governments to help residents apply for U.S. citizenship, building on the leadership of NPNA’s Cities and Counties for Citizenship (CC4C) initiative. Naturalize NOW will also work with NPNA members and other community-based organizations to hire and train Community Navigators, who will be trained to promote naturalization and connect eligible applicants to resources to help them navigate the process.
The National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA) is a multi-ethnic, multiracial coalition of 66 of the nation’s largest immigrant and refugee rights organizations with reach across over 40 states. Together with our members, we advance immigrant and refugee equity and inclusion, build and expand immigration legal services and integration programming capacity, and drive campaigns that strengthen democracy through increased civic participation. See our website for more information at partnershipfornewamericans.org