HRC Blog

HRC and ya es hora Coalitions Help Immigrants Become Citizens in Pivotal Election Year

This post comes from HRC Diversity Program Associate Hyacinth Alvaran:

This past weekend, the Las Vegas and New York steering committees led HRC’s ongoing participation in the ya es hora iCiudadanía! (“It is time: Citizenship!”) campaign to assist Latino/a and other immigrants in their application to become citizens and – if their applications are accepted – in time for them to register to vote for the November elections.

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is currently processing the application within 90-100 days. This means that the participants will be ready to take part in upcoming elections, once they are registered to vote.

Pete Webb, member of HRC’s Board of Governors, led most of the 100 volunteers at New York’s workshop in collaboration with fellow steering committee members Marilyn Abalos and Britni Jackson. They partnered with a local coalition that included the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund, Columbia University, Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights, Univision, and other community organizations to organize a successful workshop for civic engagement and advancing civil rights.

Hergit Llenas, Diversity Co-Chair of the HRC Las Vegas Steering Committee, helped lead the Las Vegas ya es hora citizenship workshop, which successfully assisted approximately 300 applicants in the citizenship application and information-gathering process. Many of the 150 volunteers were involved in previous workshops. They are truly committed, inspired volunteers who have become more accurate and considerably faster at filling out the N-400 applications for citizenship.

New organizations, such as the Las Vegas Urban League and CORE, had a large presence of volunteers and helped out with the community outreach efforts, expanding the make-up of the ya es hora coalition. Another great partner and contributor in this workshop is the Certified Court Interpreter Program of Administrative Office of the Courts (Supreme Court of Nevada). This office offered continuing education credits to its certified court interpreters for their contribution. ya es hora has gained a reputation as a safe and trustworthy source of assistance in our community. This growth in credibility and numbers exist thanks to the transparency of an amazing coalition lead by HRC, Mi Familia Vota and Caesars Entertainment which also includes the Latin Chamber of Commerce, El Tiempo newspaper, Univision KINC 15, Univision Radio, American Immigration Lawyers Association, Columbian Association of Las Vegas, Dream Big Vegas, Hermandad Mexicana, Luz Community Development Coalition, National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fund, National Council of La Raza, Nevada Youth Coalition, SEIU Nevada and Wells Fargo.

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