Working in partnership with the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) and the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN-LA), I announced today an unprecedented $1 million fund for naturalization and other immigration services.
This one-of-a-kind partnership will allow two of the most trusted and respected immigrants’ rights organizations to serve one of the most vulnerable populations. The collaboration will result in a range of direct legal services, benefiting thousands of individuals.
Because naturalization rates for immigrants in South LA trail behind the rest of the county, a portion of this program will focus on assisting legal permanent residents become citizens by providing financial assistance. However, this designation will also assist other segments of the population – such as DREAMERS, and it includes funding for deportation defense.
“The partnership between Councilmember Price’s office and the community eases the fear, facilitates access to trusted services, and helps families stay together,” said Angelica Salas, executive director for CHIRLA.
As part of CHIRLA’s efforts, the CD 9 fund will help permanent residents apply for U.S. citizenship and includes civic and citizenship classes. In addition, CHIRLA will assist with DACA application renewals, family petitions, and deportation defense, to name a few of the legal services available. The initiative is expected to help more than 3,000 individuals over the next year.
“In these difficult times when immigrants are under fire from an administration bent on attacking them, naturalization and other legal remedies are the best possible ally,” said Martha Arévalo, CARECEN executive director.
CARECEN has proposed to execute a series of monthly naturalization workshops in Council District 9 beginning in March 2017. The citizenship filing fee assistance program is expected to serve around 1,200 applicants, who may be eligible for fee waivers or a reduced cost.
I want to thank President pro-Tem of the California State Senate Kevin de León, SEIU Local 2015, UNITE HERE Local 11 for joining me this morning as we revealed details of this investment, which will help keep families together and hopes and dreams intact. This plan will strengthen protections for immigrants, help to restore peace of mind and offer much-needed relief to local families. For me, no greater investment can be made than in the lives of our local families.
For more information about CHIRLA’s legal services, please call the toll free 1-888-6CHIRLA (1-888-624-4752).
You can get in touch with CARECEN by calling (213) 385-7800.