Korean-American Communities in Chicago Achieve Citizenship

Korean American Oath CeremonyLast year, 34 lawful permanent residents from 13 different countries became U.S. citizens at a special oath ceremony with the Korean community in Chicago. It had been 30 years since a ceremony like this was hosted.

Among those newly minted Americans was 85-year-old SaHoon Kim, who came to the U.S. from Korea 40 years ago. SaHoon attended citizenship classes and received help with his citizenship application from New Americans Campaign partner Hanul Family Alliance.SaHoon Kim

“Before I die, I want to be a U.S. citizen,” SaHoon said in this news coverage of the oath ceremony. “You can say I’m old, but I’m very excited to be here at this ceremony.”

Jaesook Kim also became a U.S. citizen that day.  Her dream was to hold the American flag as she sang the National Anthem at her oath ceremony. She was able to do just that thanks to the support of her citizenship classmates at Hanul Family Assistance.

On Saturday, Aug. 20, Hanul Family Assistance and the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) will host a free citizenship workshop for Korean-American communities in Chicagoland. They expect 30 aspiring new Americans to attend.

Learn more about the upcoming Citizenship Workshop.

Posted on August 15, 2016

Our Impact

  • The Campaign has completed over 3,700 naturalization workshops and clinics.
  • Over 250,000 citizenship applications completed since July 2011.

    Saved aspiring citizens and their families over $206million in legal and application fees.
  • Adopted scalable technology. MP3 players, Google Voice, and Virtual Private Network (VPN) services are being used to enhance naturalization service delivery.
  • Expanded New American Workforce (an effort to provide naturalization assistance within corporations) which has partnered with over 100 businesses across the nation, ranging from hotels in Miami to American Apparel in Los Angeles.
  • Deployed Citizenshipworks, an online tool, across the Campaign in multiple settings and languages. A newly redesigned platform guides applicants through through their citizenship application from start to finish and connects applicants to legal help at partnering non-profits.
  • Were instrumental in inspiring the US Citizenship and Immigration Service to support the Citizenship Corners initiative.
  • Created innovative partnerships with public libraries, school districts, universities, social service agencies, and employers, all of which yield not only greater numbers of applicants but also greater awareness of the naturalization process.
  • Deployed a large-scale volunteer recruitment program through an e-learning course.

    Reached diverse communities. Local partners consistently outreach and provide culturally competent and language-appropriate services.
Learn more from our
Impact Report.

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Who We're Helping

People come to America from all over the world with dreams of achieving a better life for themselves and their families and calling this great nation home. Eight million people who live, work, and pay taxes in this country are eligible for citizenship, yet only about eight percent of them naturalize each year. Find out more about these individuals and the barriers they face.Read More