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City of Albuquerque and Local Nonprofits Host First Citizenship Event as Part of New Partnership

The partnership is part of a nationwide initiative of municipalities and community organizations working together to promote citizenship.

October 19, 2018

On Saturday, October 20th, local immigrant and refugee-serving nonprofits and the City of Albuquerque will come together to help more than 60 legal permanent residents apply for citizenship. The organizations will also answer questions about the newly formed “Albuquerque is Home” public-private partnership.

The Citizenship and Civic Engagement fair is part of The Cities for Citizenship “America is Home” initiative, a four-year, $5 million challenge grant aimed at supporting municipalities and community partners across the nation. Non-profits in Albuquerque were awarded a $40,000 grant, while Santa Fe received $40,000.

“In Albuquerque, we welcome all people regardless of where they came from and we urge immigrants and refugees to become citizens when they are eligible," Mayor Tim Keller said. "Our community works best when all residents, including our immigrant community, can fully participate in civic life. Immigrants and refugees already make huge contributions to our community and economy, and we’re going to continue to encourage that. That’s what makes us one Albuquerque."

More than 60 preregistered participants will attend presentations on Civic Engagement and Know Your Rights by Partnership for Community Action and El CENTRO de Igualdad y Derechos, followed by free help from a legal representative to complete their citizenship application. A press conference will be held from 11:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.

“We are proud to now live in a City in which our administration and local elected officials have voiced their commitment to making Albuquerque a city in which all Albuquerque communities can thrive, passing policies which are conducive to immigrant integration, and supporting citizenship initiatives which will benefit all Albuquerqueans," said  Fabiola Bawden, community organizer at El CENTRO de Igualdad y Derechos. "More than ever, in this current political climate, our communities are organizing to protect our families and have our voices heard in the ballot box.”

"The immigrant community's voice in New Mexico and across the country is more important now than ever," said Vanessa Gonzalez, Department of Justice Accredited Representative from the New Mexico Immigrant Law Center. "As the current federal administration continues to strip away protections from immigrants, we need to reduce barriers to allow the the more than 21,000 legal permanent residents in Albuquerque alone to become citizens. We are proud to work with our local government and community partners to bring much needed legal services to folks who otherwise are unable to get help to naturalize.”

Spokespersons from the City of Albuquerque, participating organizations, and legal permanent residents applying for citizenship will speak about their role and the impact the partnership will have in our communities.

The Citizenship and Civic Engagement fair will take place at ACE Leadership High School, 1240 Bellamah Ave. NW, 87104 from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. 

To learn more about Cities for Citizenship Initiative click here.

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