On Saturday, the New Americans Campaign partnered with the Detroit Tigers at the team’s 10th annual ¡Fiesta Tigres! Celebration.
This annual celebration recognizes past and current Latino Tigers players and their contributions to baseball. The New Americans Campaign distributed information about citizenship at the event, and a public service announcement about the campaign aired before the evening game against the Boston Red Sox.
“I had tears in my eyes when I saw the PSA on the huge screen at Comerica Park,” said Wojciech Zolnowski, executive director of the International Institute of Metropolitan Detroit and the site lead for the New Americans Campaign in Detroit. “I realized that I am part of something big and I realized how far we’ve come in just four years.”
The New Americans Campaign celebrated its fourth anniversary last month. Detroit campaign partners and their network of volunteers distributed information about U.S. citizenship to those interested at the ballpark this weekend, handing out 104 fliers to individuals and families who expressed interest in learning more about citizenship and the naturalization process.
And, even with more than 40,000 people in attendance, volunteers reconnected with a client who received help from the New Americans Campaign in completing her citizenship application at a workshop earlier this year.
“You never know when you’re going to run into people you helped,” said Zolnowski. “It really speaks to the impact of the New Americans Campaign on lawful permanent residents in our communities.”
Saturday’s event also included cultural celebrations and the honoring of current and former Tigers players, including Placido Polanco, who played with the team from 2005 to 2009. Polanco was born in the Dominican Republic and became a naturalized U.S. citizen on the field at Comerica Park on July 9, 2008.
“We hope this event is just one of many that occurs in partnership with the Tigers,” Zolnowski said. “It was really special to witness the impact of the New Americans Campaign and U.S. citizenship at this celebration.”