HRC Blog

HRC Phoenix at the “Ya Es Hora” Citizenship Workshop

The following excerpt is from Brian S. Stranghoner, HRC Board of Governors member and HRC-Phoenix Diversity Co-chair, regarding the July 10th Phoenix ya es hora ¡Ciudadanía! workshop assisting Legal Permanent Residents on their applications to become U.S. citizens. Wow... what a Saturday! It was an amazing turnout!  We had record attendance at the Citizenship workshop for both volunteers and Legal Permanent Residents (LPR's) needing assistance. The workshop was scheduled to begin at 9:30am, and people eager for assistance lined up 2 hours prior to the scheduled start time.  At the peak of the line an estimated 700 people were waiting in line for assistance.  20 HRC volunteers donated their day, along with volunteer partners LUCHA, Mi Familia Vota, SEIU, AILA and others. We assisted 325 - 350 LPR's through the paperwork processes, but organizers had to turn over 100 people away and asked them to attend another workshop due to the sheer volume of people wanting assistance. Organizers are planning monthly workshops through October to assist those interested in completing their paperwork and in getting advice from immigration attorneys volunteering their time. The demand was so great for assistance, there was little time for volunteers to take pictures, have lunch or go to the bathroom.  HRC volunteers began assisting at 9:00am and stayed until the last LPR was assisted at 8:00pm. Attendance was so heavy that volunteers had to assist with directing traffic and parking for the workshop. Most of the major Phoenix media covered the workshop including ABC15, KPHO5 and Univision. The number of Arizona residents interested in becoming citizens have jumped to record numbers due to the new immigration laws being enacted and people are afraid of what might happen next. Those attending the workshop were so thankful to the volunteers assisting them it was quite an emotional experience for several new volunteers and HRC volunteers have pledged to continue assisting with the workshops. Read about the event in the local media: Activists: Overwhelming Interest In Citizenship SB1070 debate means more US citizens?

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