Norcross, GA, September 11, 2019 — To celebrate National Citizenship Day, Asian Americans Advancing Justice (Advancing Justice) affiliates throughout the United States are partnering with Bank of America to co-host citizenship clinics to promote the many benefits of citizenship. Advancing Justice-Atlanta will host a Free Citizenship Clinic on September 14 at the Pinckneyville Community Recreation Center in Norcross. Advocates have seen waiting and processing times for citizenship applications increase to over a year in Atlanta. Advancing Justice-Atlanta is urging eligible permanent residents to take the opportunity to receive critical benefits and for those seeking to vote in the 2020 Presidential election to submit their application for naturalization before the end of September 2019.
"Asian Americans are the fastest-growing ethnic population in the United States. We are a diverse community with diverse immigration statuses,” said Christine Chen, Citizenship Project Director at Advancing Justice-LA. “It’s critical that we assist as many community members as possible to help reach their citizenship goals - and in particular this month - so they can vote in next year’s presidential election.”
Asian Americans are a quickly developing voter bloc - 30% of eligible immigrant voters nationally are of Asian descent. With the number of registered voters growing by nearly 1 million every presidential election, Asian Americans are poised to continue to grow in influence and make or break close elections in pivotal battleground states. Research has indicated that as political candidates and parties recognize the importance of the Asian American voting bloc and increase voter registration among the community, promote Asian American candidates, and outreach to increase civic education, the power of the Asian American vote stands only to grow. Effectively, Asian Americans are poised to have a pivotal role in deciding the Democratic presidential nominee and congressional majority in 2020.
"In the past year, Advancing Justice-Atlanta has assisted over 200 individuals in obtaining citizenship through our naturalization clinics. Our team provided 900 consultations and, through applications for fee waivers or reduced fees, we saved applicants over $40,000,” said Stephanie Cho, Executive Director of Advancing Justice - Atlanta. “Citizenship helps our communities access their full rights and we are committed to providing trusted legal assistance and services.”
Bank of America, a longtime partner with Advancing Justice affiliates, annually collaborates with the organization on the Pan Asian Citizenship event, which provides free legal and application services in more than seven Asian languages, assisting nearly 200 individuals seeking U.S. citizenship each spring and fall. Attorneys and Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) accredited staff, who are trained to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) standards, provide eligibility screenings, guidance on securing fee waivers for those eligible, and legal assistance to those applying for citizenship.
For those not able to attend the event on September 14, free citizenship services are available in the metro Atlanta area through Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Atlanta throughout the year. Appointments can be scheduled by calling our immigration line: 404-890-5655
WHAT: Free Citizenship Clinic
WHEN: September 14, 2019 10AM - 12PM
WHERE: Pinckneyville Community Recreation Center (4650 Peachtree Industrial Blvd, Norcross, Georgia 30071)
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