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Thursday, September 17, 2015

As Presidential Candidates Attack Immigrants, Grassroots Advocates Make Huge Push to Honor Citizenship Day

Oregon joins effort with 40 workshops and ceremonies across nation promoting citizenship as White House launches national naturalization campaign

Woodburn, OR--  Grassroots advocacy organizations and cities across America will help thousands of immigrants to become U.S. citizens around Citizenship Day while the White House launches a national campaign to raise awareness about naturalization among eligible immigrant communities. Oregon organizations Causa, PCUN, and the Oregon AFL-CIO will join the national effort by hosting a free citizenship workshop to assist eligible immigrants to apply for U.S. citizenship in Woodburn, OR on Saturday, September 19.

These efforts offer a sharp contrast to the hateful anti-immigrant rhetoric trumpeted by candidates vying for the presidency. Donald Trump called Mexicans “rapists,” had a prominent Latino news anchor forcibly removed from a press conference, and vows to end the 14th amendment guarantee of birthright citizenship. Other candidates have insulted Asians with the use of the term “anchor babies,” waxed poetic about a fence on the northern border, and have parroted Trump’s racism. These aren’t policy platforms—they are bigoted and xenophobic attacks.

“The recent attacks on Latinos and Asians are attacks on all immigrants and our nation’s values,” said Andrea Miller, Executive Director of Causa. “These are the fastest growing populations of the U.S. electorate. The hateful language used by these candidates are attacks on our Constitution, our values, and our children – they are un-American and will not stand.”

Instead, efforts led by Causa, PCUN, and Oregon AFL-CIO along with national partners will celebrate Citizenship Day and honor the New Americans who make this country great. Causa is a member of the National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA), who will host 40 citizenship workshops and naturalization ceremonies across the country on and around Citizenship Day, September 17, 2015. 

The repeated offenses and attacks against immigrant communities are inspiring many to pursue their dreams of becoming U.S. citizens this year. Sergio, a Salem resident, recently became a U.S. citizen and registered to vote with the help of Causa. Sergio has lived in the United States for nearly ten years. When asked about why he became a U.S. citizen he replied, “I saw it as an opportunity to exercise my right to vote, I did it for my family, and for the chance to exercise my right as a contributing member of the United States.”

In Oregon, there are over 80,000 green card holders who are eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship, demonstrating the huge need to assist individuals through the citizenship process. By hosting citizenship workshops and participating in National Citizenship Day, Causa and its partners hope to increase the number of greed card holders applying for U.S. citizenship.

It shouldn’t take public attacks against immigrants to encourage hardworking Americans to become citizens. There are dramatic benefits for local municipal governments and the country as a whole when immigrants naturalize since citizenship increases local economic revenue, as well as creates new economic opportunities and increased civic engagement. Citizenship can also help New Americans increase their incomes, open businesses, and become homeowners.

 For a list of NPNA Citizenship Day 2015 events, see

About Causa

Causa is Oregon's Statewide Immigrant Rights Organization. We work to defend and advance immigrant rights through coordination with local, state, and national coalitions and allies. For more information, visit

About NPNA

The National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA) harnesses the collective power and resources of the country’s 37 largest regional immigrant rights organizations in 30 states. NPNA’s aim is to achieve a vibrant, just and welcoming democracy for all. Immigrants are the soul of NPNA, and immigrant communities inspire, implement and champion NPNA’s work. 


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