During news shows, anchors pop questions from the civics test that applicants for citizenship are required to pass, such as "How many stars are on the U.S. flag?" Against a backdrop of stars soaring through the U.S. flag and the Statue of Liberty, a ticker counts down, from a goal of one million for the L.A. area, the number of persons who have applied for citizenship since the campaign started in Southern California. On Saturday mornings, a 30-minute program is devoted to teaching viewers the ABCs of becoming a U.S. citizen...Related:
...The citizenship drive is the brainchild of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fund, a nonpartisan outreach group known as Naleo. Last year, Naleo officials gathered representatives from Univision, Spanish-language newspaper La Opinion, Spanish-language radio, unions and dozens of community groups to hatch a plan for drawing more Hispanics into the U.S. political process.
The result is the largest campaign ever to convert eligible Hispanics into citizens and, ultimately, voters. "This is about increasing the participation of Latino immigrants in U.S. civic life," says Marcelo Gaete, a senior director of Naleo. "They can change the political landscape."
The citizen-application hotline, operated by bilingual volunteers at the headquarters of the Naleo Educational Fund in Los Angeles, receive hundreds of calls each day from California, Texas and Arizona. Callers who require special legal assistance are referred to immigration lawyers who have partnered in the effort. In the field, Hispanic community-based organizations are providing "citizenship packages" partly prepared by unions, including the Service Employees International Union, or SEIU. Meanwhile, the Web sites for Univision stations in L.A. and other cities, as well as Naleo's site, feature a wealth of information to guide applicants...
Immigration2007a · Fri, 05/11/2007 - 14:10 · Importance: 4