Asian Americans Advancing Justice Expands Their Citizenship Program

Location

Los Angeles , CA United States

Congresswoman Judy Chu joined staff members at Asian Americans Advancing Justice to promote the expansion of AAAJ’s naturalization services, and to urge more legal permanent residents of Asian descent to apply for citizenship.

AAAJ has added temporary staff attorneys that work all day at the organization’s office to work on naturalization cases. AAAJ’s executive director Stewart Kwoh said that lawyers were equipped to even work on complicated cases, with citizenship staff attorney Christine Chen adding that they could help people obtain fee waivers or a reduced-fee application for the naturalization process.

In addition, AAAJ offers legal hotlines in languages ranging from Mandarin and Cantonese to Khmer and Tagalog to help a wide range of Asian permanent residents.

There are 300,000 legal residents from Asia living in Southern California who are eligible for U.S. citizenship. Congresswoman Chu emphasized that becoming a naturalized citizen was the best protection for them during the current political climate, when immigrants under DACA protection are being deported and Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers are increasingly active in communities. Chu said that a permanent resident who left the U.S. for a few months to care for a sick relative, for example, would not necessarily be let back into the country.

Chen listed “increased job opportunities, family reunification, and access to benefits” as other benefits of citizenship.

“The time is now to apply for citizenship,” added Kwoh.

For more information about AAAJ’s citizenship services, visit this link.

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