LAS VEGAS, NV – At a press conference yesterday, the Asian Community Development Council Community Center (ACDC), Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada (PLAN), Nevada Governor’s Office of New Americans (NV ONA), League of Women Voters, and the National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA) announced the launch of Naturalize NOW, a campaign encouraging eligible U.S. residents to apply for U.S. citizenship. Naturalize NOW will reach out to people in the greater Las Vegas area who are eligible for citizenship to encourage them to apply and help them navigate the process. A recording of the press conference is available here.
Said Assemblyman Duy Nguyen, VP & COO, Asian Community Development Council Community Center: “Today as part of our efforts to observe Citizenship Month, we celebrate our community and want to spotlight those who are in the process of taking the final step in their immigration journey to become naturalized citizens. The road to citizenship often seems complicated and difficult to navigate. This makes partnerships with organizations such as the National Partnership for New Americans so essential, who broadcast this important message nationally, while local groups such as ACDC help their community take the necessary steps to become U.S. citizens.”
Said Erika Castro, Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada (PLAN): “Citizenship can help open the doors to high-quality and high-paying jobs, with increased benefits and opportunities for upward mobility. Citizenship also allows many immigrants to return home and be reunited with their loved ones in their native countries, in some cases after many years of separation. Ultimately, becoming a citizen can provide a sense of stability and safety for the entire family, including the children of immigrants.”
“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.”
Today’s press conference kicked off a week-long celebration and promotion of citizenship in the greater Las Vegas area leading up to Citizenship Day on September 17. The speakers encouraged Las Vegas residents to take their next steps towards naturalization by attending upcoming Citizenship Day workshops hosted by American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and other local partners on September 23, 2023 from 9 AM to 3 PM in Reno and Las Vegas to learn more about the naturalization process. The workshops will provide free assistance from attorneys with filling out citizenship applications. More information and registration available here.
Said Vida Lin, Asian Community Development Council (ACDC): “The Asian Community Development Council joins the shared vision of leading individuals and families into the process of becoming a citizen of the United States. This is work we will never stop. We value this vital partnership with the National Partnership for New Americans, leading the campaign nationally and our local partners such as PLAN and the League of Women Voters, We welcome our new Americans with open arms.”
“The Nevada Governor’s Office for New Americans is committed to promoting the civic and economic integration of new and aspiring Americans across Nevada,” said Vincent Nava, Senior Advisor, Nevada Governor’s Office for New Americans (NV ONA). “We will continue to stand by our community, state, and national partners in encouraging the naturalization of the millions of eligible permanent residents throughout the United States.”
Said Palmira Ortiz, Newly Naturalized Citizen, Asian Community Development Council Community Center: “One day, I saw that there was a sign that this group called ‘ACDC’ can help you apply for citizenship. I remember taking a picture of the sign and thinking whether I should call them. After a few days, I called them, and they helped me through the entire process. Now, I am proud to say, I am a U.S. citizen—and I encourage others in my community to join me.”
“Immigrants and refugees are the heart of our nation and their contributions to our state make our communities, economy, and culture vibrant and strong.” said Heather Bowles, Senior Field Organizer of League of Women Voters. “The League is committed, along with partners through the Naturalize NOW Campaign, to continue welcoming immigrants from Nevada to begin their citizenship journey and help fulfill the dream of a truly representative democracy.”
Also announced at the press conference was the “Ciudadanía En Tus Manos” initiative, an interactive bilingual English and Spanish video study guide to prepare people for their citizenship civics exam, created by CHIRLA. 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 legal services department’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 Las Vegas—where over 20% of the population was born in another country and nearly 20,000 residents are eligible to naturalize—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