On Nov. 10, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and L.A. County Supervisor Hilda Solis launched a citizenship campaign, ¡Protégete!…¡Ciudadania Ya! (Protect Yourself! Citizenship Now!), with major Los Angeles immigrant rights organizations, the California Community Foundation and leading Spanish-language media.
The campaign aims to inform, educate and assist L.A. County’s estimated 755,000 residents who are eligible to naturalize. New Americans Campaign national partners NALEO Educational Fund and Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles, and local partners the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN) and the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) are part of the campaign.
One of the barriers to citizenship is the perceived high application cost. While some eligible lawful permanent residents (LPRs) are deterred by the price tag, others are daunted by the English language and civics tests. Due to these misconceptions, naturalization rates have declined in the United States.
Because of these decreasing naturalization rates, campaign partners are hoping to revitalize and re-educate the public about the benefits of citizenship, including increased income and stronger protections under the law.
The campaign hit the airways earlier this month on leading Spanish-language media outlets Azteca America, Entravision, Estrella TV/Liberman Broadcasting, La Opinión, Telemundo 52 Los Angeles KVEA, Univision Radio and KMEX 34 Univision Los Angeles.
Phone banks opened to provide information on how to become a citizen and for LPRs to make appointments at citizenship workshops and classes taking place throughout LA County. These services are available in Spanish and Asian-Pacific Islander languages.
This campaign is unique because of the role these Spanish-language media outlets play as partners. In a time when the rights of immigrants are being tested, this local campaign brings much needed information and services to citizenship-eligible lawful permanent residents.
The groups involved in the campaign are the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund, the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), the Council of Mexican Federations (COFEM), Asian Americans Advancing Justice Los Angeles (AAAJLA), and Spanish-language outlets Azteca America, Entravision, Estrella TV/Liberman Broadcasting, La Opinión, Telemundo 52 Los Angeles KVEA, Univision Radio and KMEX 34 Univision Los Angeles.