They recommend speeding up naturalization before prices rise.

On the holiday that commemorates the leader of the civil rights movement Martin Luther King, Inés Espinosa got up early at the offices of the Mexico Center of Pacoima in the San Fernando Valley to begin his process of United States citizenship.

“I knew they were going to help fill out the applications, and I said, I'm leaving early to take advantage of it once and become a citizen,” says Inés, who has qualified for naturalization for 25 years, but let time pass.

“Pure neglect. Now I want to do it to have more benefits and to vote. And honestly because I'm afraid of being just a resident. As a citizen, I think I will feel more protected", it states.

Several immigrants who qualify for citizenship took advantage of Martin Luther King Day to begin the process. (Araceli Martínez / The Opinion).

In addition, he says, nothing better than celebrating Luther King realizing the dream of citizenship.

“In November my residence expires. I no longer want to renew it for the third time. I hope that by then I am already a citizen and can vote, ”he says.

The Mexico Center, directed by Gloria Saucedo, closed its offices in Panorama City where it operated for 22 years, and opened the Martin Luther King Day its new facilities at 1015 Truman Street in the city of San Fernando, California.

They opened with the opening of a citizenship program that they called “I also have a dream”, A name given in reference to the title of Luther King's most remembered speech. “The dream of many immigrants is to become citizens and vote,” says Gloria Saucedo.

Many children came to express their feelings because their grandparents can become residents of the United States. (Araceli Martínez / The Opinion).

“Martin Luther King gave us an example of a fight for dreams. Citizenship is the dream of immigrant people who do not have documents. So those who can, must become citizens, go out to vote, and continue fighting for immigration reform so that families who work and pay taxes, have the dream of residence, ”says Gloria.

And he adds that residency is not enough, but that we must become citizens to fight for the dreams of living in a free country and the unity of families.

“What has affected us all these years are those anti-immigrant policies that are destroying the immigrant family inside their home. There is fear of deportations; and even if you are a resident, you are in danger of deportation. The most important thing to achieve the American dream is citizenship. That's why if you are residents, become citizens”, Urges, emphasizes.

Unlike other immigrants, Mexicans take a long time to apply for citizenship even if they already qualify. (Araceli Martínez / The Opinion).

He especially calls on Mexicans that he says, they tend to be very stubborn to apply for citizenship.

"They last an average of 20 years to become citizens because they are afraid of losing Mexican nationality, but since 1997 it was approved that we can have dual citizenship," he emphasizes.

Gloria reveals that she is very happy with the new offices because very near there in Pacoima, she started in a garage teaching in the Neighborhood Watch group.

"In all these years, we have helped realize the dream of citizenship for 35,000 Latino residents”, Precise.

Amalia Roque began her process for U.S. citizenship eight months ago. "I'm waiting for the appointment for the interview," he emphasizes.

And he acknowledges that it took him 30 years to decide to apply for naturalization.

“Suddenly, I said, I have to finish this process. This is the moment, and I am waiting, ”says this immigrant from Coahuila, Mexico.

The new Mexico Center offices were opened in San Fernando, California. (Araceli Martínez / The Opinion)

She admits that Martin Luther King Day motivated her even more to seek citizenship. “He fought for civil rights, and he is grateful for the freedom we all enjoy,” says this almost 70-year-old immigrant who worked all her working life in the Los Angeles clothing factories.

Gaby Flores, an 18-year-old girl, born in Mexicali, Mexico, but who has already become a US citizen, says she is happy because she can vote for the first time this year.

Who are you going to vote for? “Not for Trump!”, He responds immediately, and called on Latinos who are residents and qualify for citizenship, to begin the process as soon as possible so that they can go out to vote in the November elections and remove the president from the House White.

Gloria Saucedo called on Latinos to qualify for citizenship, to hurry and take advantage that prices have not risen.

Inés Espinosa started the process of US citizenship. She is accompanied on her right side by Martha Ugarte from Centro México. (photo provided)

A lawsuit keeps the 60% increase proposed last year by the Trump administration to increase the cost of citizenship from $ 725 to $ 1,170, and also eliminate the exemption of such payment to low-income applicants.

The new prices were to take effect on December 2, but an order from a federal judge stopped them as long as the complaint was resolved.


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