U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director Alejandro Mayorkas and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced today a new partnership to strengthen immigrant integration efforts in Los Angeles through proactive citizenship awareness, education, and outreach activities. The initiative kicks off with a free citizenship information session and naturalization workshop on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2010, at Felicitas and Gonzalo Mendez Learning Center in Northeast Los Angeles. USCIS Los Angeles District Director Jane Arellano will be on hand to answer questions.
Saturday’s event is the first in a series of planned citizenship information sessions for Los Angeles residents. Other activities under the agreement include the dissemination of USCIS educational materials highlighting U.S. citizenship and the naturalization process at city facilities along with targeted outreach to increase awareness of citizenship rights, responsibilities, and the naturalization process among eligible residents. As the second largest, and one of the most diverse cities in the country, Los Angeles is home to immigrants coming from more than 140 countries and speaking 224 languages. California is home to nearly 3.5 million legal permanent residents, 2.5 million of whom are eligible to naturalize.
Los Angeles is the first city to enter into an agreement with USCIS to strengthen and enhance local immigant integration efforts. USCIS will regularly evaluate the program’s effectiveness to determine whether a similar agreement may be replicated in other locations. Launched as a pilot, the partnership between USCIS and Los Angeles will remain in effect for two years.