L.A. Citizenship Campaign Launched with New Americans Campaign Partners

Among other things, this citizenship campaign will connect citizenship applicants with service providers who can help them complete their naturalization applications.

On Nov. 10, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and L.A. County Supervisor Hilda Solis launched a citizenship campaign, ¡Protégete!…¡Ciudadania Ya! (Protect Yourself! Citizenship Now!), with major Los Angeles immigrant rights organizations, the California Community Foundation and leading Spanish-language media.

The campaign aims to inform, educate and assist L.A. County’s estimated 755,000 residents who are eligible to naturalize. New Americans Campaign national partners NALEO Educational Fund and Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles, and local partners the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN) and the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) are part of the campaign.

One of the barriers to citizenship is the perceived high application cost. While some eligible lawful permanent residents (LPRs) are deterred by the price tag, others are daunted by the English language and civics tests. Due to these misconceptions, naturalization rates have declined in the United States.

Because of these decreasing naturalization rates, campaign partners are hoping to revitalize and re-educate the public about the benefits of citizenship, including increased income and stronger protections under the law.

The campaign hit the airways earlier this month on leading Spanish-language media outlets Azteca America, Entravision, Estrella TV/Liberman Broadcasting, La Opinión, Telemundo 52 Los Angeles KVEA, Univision Radio and KMEX 34 Univision Los Angeles.

Phone banks opened to provide information on how to become a citizen and for LPRs to make appointments at citizenship workshops and classes taking place throughout LA County. These services are available in Spanish and Asian-Pacific Islander languages.

This campaign is unique because of the role these Spanish-language media outlets play as partners. In a time when the rights of immigrants are being tested, this local campaign brings much needed information and services to citizenship-eligible lawful permanent residents.

The groups involved in the campaign are the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund, the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), the Council of Mexican Federations (COFEM), Asian Americans Advancing Justice Los Angeles (AAAJLA), and Spanish-language outlets Azteca America, Entravision, Estrella TV/Liberman Broadcasting, La Opinión, Telemundo 52 Los Angeles KVEA, Univision Radio and KMEX 34 Univision Los Angeles.

Posted on November 30, 2015

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