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Citizenship Workshops for Colorado New Americans, Nationwide

Congressman Luis Gutierrez & Advocates Host Citizenship Workshop for Colorado New Americans as part of national Stand Up to Hate Campaign

The Stand Up to Hate Campaign is a national effort that will host 150+ events and naturalization workshops across the country by May.

February 27, 2016, Denver – As part of the Stand Up to Hate Campaign, a multifaceted national effort to help thousands across the country become U.S. citizens and register to vote in time for this year’s elections, advocacy groups held a citizenship workshop for Colorado legal permanent residents. Congressman Luis Gutierrez (IL-04), a prominent immigrant rights advocate, joined leaders, experts and volunteers to assist applicants in the naturalization process.

Congressman Gutierrez announced this work on the House floor on Wednesday:

Prior to engaging with workshop attendees, a brief press conference was held to highlight national and local efforts and the importance of becoming a U.S. citizen.

Today’s Colorado citizenship workshop is one of dozens of naturalization clinics taking place this weekend in places like Florida, Nevada, California, and Michigan. The campaign, which began in January, will hold over 150 workshops, nationwide, until the month of May. The campaign’s goal is to support over one million people to become citizens this year. The campaign’s slogan is: “Stand Up to Hate: Naturalize. Register. Vote.”

Host organizations include Colorado Immigration Rights Coalition (CIRC), National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA), iAmerica, Mi Familia Vota (MFV), the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and the Latino Victory Foundation (LVF).

Resources supporting this campaign can be found on:

“In communities like Denver and Chicago, there is a hunger for citizenship, despite all the barriers, despite the costs, and despite the anti-immigrant tone coming from our TVs and candidates, said Congressman Luis Gutiérrez, “In fact, it is the anti-immigrant tone that people tell me – over and over – is what is motivating them to apply, study for the tests and better their English.”

“It is time for eligible immigrants to mobilize, take the time, and spend the money to become citizens and voters, to protect themselves, their families, and their community. NPNA members and our allies across the country will continue to work tirelessly to support this,” said Joshua Hoyt, Executive Director of the National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA).

“The hateful political climate is added motivation for our Latino and immigrant community to pursue citizenship and civic engagement to fight back and protect the values of family, work, and dignity that we hold so dear. Efforts like ours today to break down the barriers to citizenship are echoed all over the country. We are part of a national movement to build a powerful and inclusive democracy that will stand against hate.” said Nicole Melaku, Director of Citizenship Programs at the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition and a member of the NPNA New Americans Democracy Campaign Committee.

“Last year, hundreds of thousands of lawful residents became U.S. citizens. This year, leaders, groups and communities are coming together to ramp up efforts unlike ever before and ensure that many more families cross the threshold to citizenship. With so much at stake in these elections, now is the time to naturalize and vote in November.” — Rocio Saenz, SEIU’s Executive Vice President and iAmerica’s Board President.

“We are mobilizing the Latino community by encouraging those who can become citizens to take that important steps, for those who are eligible to vote, to register. We are making sure that the voice of our community is heard loud and clear through the ballot box in November,” said Rigoberto Perez Renteria, recently naturalized citizen and Mi Familia Vota volunteer.

“The stakes for Latinos in the 2016 election are very high. The Latino community in the United States is under attack, and it is up to us to organize, push back, and elect candidates who support our issue priorities,” said Katherine Archuleta, Co-Chair for Latino Victory’s National Committee. “The Hispanic community keeps growing, but numbers don’t build political power on their own. Latinos must raise our voices, flex our muscle, and show our political power – in Colorado and throughout the country – only then will we guarantee that Latinos are taken seriously, and our issues are properly addressed. We must stand up against hate, naturalize those who are eligible, register people to vote, and get them out to the polls.”