Press Release

Unprecedented Campaign Promoting Benefits of U.S. Citizenship Targets Asian Immigrants, Nation’s Fastest Growing Immigrant Population

Press Release | April 6, 2016

Over 300,000 Asian Immigrants in L.A. County Currently Eligible to Naturalize and Become a U.S. Citizen

Eligible immigrants strongly urged to take the first step now to have a chance of becoming a U.S. citizen before November election

LOS ANGELES – Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles (Advancing Justice-LA), in close partnership with community-based organizations and local government, announced an unprecedented campaign to encourage and increase the number of Asian American immigrants applying for U.S. citizenship. Community based organizations serving the Asian American community will receive additional funding and support to process citizenship applications. In addition, Asian ethnic media will be invited to join the effort as official campaign partners, to promote the benefits of citizenship. In Los Angeles County, over 300,000 Asian American immigrants are currently legal permanent residents who are eligible to naturalize and become U.S. citizens.

“The United States was founded by immigrants and continues to thrive because of the contributions of immigrants,” said Stewart Kwoh, President and Executive Director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice – LA. “For many Asian Americans, the risk of leaving their native countries in pursuit of better opportunities outweighed all their fears of the unknown. Today, we are launching ‘Endless Possibilities. Citizenship Now!’ in seven Asian languages, drawing on an unprecedented partnership between nonprofits, government, and media, with the purpose of reminding immigrants that citizenship is a pathway to the many benefits and opportunities many hoped to achieve for themselves and their families by coming to America.”

“More than 1 million people in Los Angeles County speak an Asian language and their main source of information is ethnic and in-language media. We are asking that our Asian-language media step forward to be a part of this campaign, alongside our nonprofit partners, government agencies, and elected officials who are leveraging their collective voice to raise awareness about the opportunities and resources available to anyone who is eligible and interested in becoming a United States citizen,” said Nasim Khansari, Citizenship Project Director for Asian Americans Advancing Justice – LA. “Not only are media critical to informing our communities about what they need to know, but media can also empower our community to achieve what they may not know is possible.”

“Endless Possibilities. Citizenship Now!” is a coordinated effort of more than 10 nonprofit organizations serving multi-ethnic communities as well as government agencies and the offices of elected officials. The first partnership event is a free citizenship workshop taking place on Sunday, April 10th at the Long Beach Convention Center. For an appointment, call the Advancing Justice-LA helpline:

English                               888-349-9695

Mandarin/Cantonese     800-520-2356

Khmer                                800-867-3126

Korean                               800-867-3640

Tagalog                              855-300-2552

Thai                                   800-914-9583

Vietnamese                       800-267-7395

All who are interested in citizenship assistance or legal services are encouraged to call the toll-free helpline service. Callers can reach helpline staff between 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. When unable to speak with a live helpline staff, callers are encouraged to leave a voicemail message including their name and contact information. Calls will be returned within one business day.

The campaign is made possible through funding and support from the California Community Foundation in an effort to break down the myths and barriers preventing more L.A. County residents from applying. “Endless Possibilities. Citizenship Now!” is a coordinated campaign operating in conjunction with ¡Protégete!…¡Ciudadanía Ya!, a campaign taking place in Spanish-language media and is led by a strong coalition that includes Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles and several other nonprofit organizations.


Randy Bunnao, 213-241-0227

Lisa Thong, 310-289-5526