Delta Trustee Rivera supports Citizenship Advocacy Day in D.C.
Groups will educate lawmakers about the benefits of helping the nearly 8.8 million legal permanent residents—including more than 4 million Latinos—who are eligible for citizenship
As part of the inaugural Champions for Citizenship Advocacy Day on September 17, 2015, the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund will brought together leading organizations, new Americans and Latino elected officials from across the nation in Washington D.C. to educate Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle on the benefits of helping millions of eligible legal permanent residents (LPRs) take the next step and become U.S. citizens.
San Joaquin Delta College trustee Janet Rivera attended today's activities, and was asked to meet with Congressional leaders to encourage them to be a "Champ 4 Citizenship." She met with Congressmen David Valadao, representing California's 21st District, and Jeff Denham, representing the 10th District. "The goal is to help millions of legal permanent residents become citizens," said Rivera. "I look forward to the challenge, and hope to get support from our local representatives."
The meetings will took place as part of the Citizenship Day (September 17th) and Citizenship Month efforts that are occurring nationwide throughout the month of September. During these meetings, participants will encourage lawmakers to support the New Americans Success Act of 2015 (HR 3021) and other policies that would provide eligible LPRs with increased access to English language and civics programs as well as support navigating through the naturalization process.
Groups joining NALEO Educational Fund include: American Gaming Association, Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), Church World Service, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, National Immigration Forum, and Partnership for a New American Economy.
“We need to break down the barriers that are keeping millions of hard-working and talented legal permanent residents from contributing fully to our nation’s economy and society,” stated Arturo Vargas, NALEO Educational Fund executive director. “As part of the inaugural Champions for Citizenship Advocacy Day, we will do our part by helping to educate Members of Congress on the numerous economic and civic benefits of helping potential new Americans successfully navigate and complete the naturalization process.
America is home to nearly 8.8 million LPRs that meet the eligibility requirements to apply for U.S. citizenship. Of those, more than 4 million – nearly half of all LPRs eligible to naturalize – are Latino. Despite the many benefits of citizenship, completing the naturalization process can be a challenge for many legal residents. Language barriers and lack of access to funds to pay for legal assistance and the $680 application fee force many LPRs to put their citizenship plans on hold.