Celebrating Citizenship After 36 Years

Josefina Anguiano moved to the United States from Michoacan, Mexico in 1979. She came to California alone and undocumented.

She lived there with her brother for five years, eventually moving out and living on her own.

Josefina worked hard and received her green card in 1987. She later married, and has three children and two grandchildren.

“I’d always wanted to elect my community and country representatives, but I didn’t have enough money to apply for naturalization,” says Josefina.

She was especially encouraged to apply for citizenship when her husband naturalized in 2012.

Several months ago, she learned about naturalization application fee waivers through a Spanish language Facebook post by the Orange County Communities Organized for Responsible Development (OCCORD), a New Americans Campaign partner.

Josefina contacted OCCORD, and with the help of Luis Vega, the citizenship program coordinator, she learned that she qualified for the waiver.

She quickly and excitedly pursued citizenship, and OCCORD helped her complete the application and prepare for the civics test.

Josefina was a green card holder for 29 years when she applied for citizenship, making her eligible to take the exam in Spanish. She passed on her first try.

This September, Josefina took the Oath of Allegiance and is now proud to call herself a U.S. citizen.

“If you are eligible for citizenship, you should apply!” says Josefina. “I am so happy that after 37 years of living in the United States, I’m a citizen now and I can vote. Being able to vote in America has been a dream of mine, and I’ve finally achieved this dream now.”

 

 

Posted on September 29, 2016

Our Impact

  • The Campaign has completed over 3,700 naturalization workshops and clinics.
  • Over 250,000 citizenship applications completed since July 2011.

    Saved aspiring citizens and their families over $206million in legal and application fees.
  • Adopted scalable technology. MP3 players, Google Voice, and Virtual Private Network (VPN) services are being used to enhance naturalization service delivery.
  • Expanded New American Workforce (an effort to provide naturalization assistance within corporations) which has partnered with over 100 businesses across the nation, ranging from hotels in Miami to American Apparel in Los Angeles.
  • Deployed Citizenshipworks, an online tool, across the Campaign in multiple settings and languages. A newly redesigned platform guides applicants through through their citizenship application from start to finish and connects applicants to legal help at partnering non-profits.
  • Were instrumental in inspiring the US Citizenship and Immigration Service to support the Citizenship Corners initiative.
  • Created innovative partnerships with public libraries, school districts, universities, social service agencies, and employers, all of which yield not only greater numbers of applicants but also greater awareness of the naturalization process.
  • Deployed a large-scale volunteer recruitment program through an e-learning course.

    Reached diverse communities. Local partners consistently outreach and provide culturally competent and language-appropriate services.
Learn more from our
Impact Report.

Who We’re Helping

People come to America from all over the world with dreams of achieving a better life for themselves and their families and calling this great nation home. Eight million people who live, work, and pay taxes in this country are eligible for citizenship, yet only about eight percent of them naturalize each year. Find out more about these individuals and the barriers they face.Read More