In the last 14 years, the local Culinary Union’s umbrella union, Unite Here, has helped push for 15,000 naturalizations. This year, Unite Here wants to help 2,500 people naturalize by June 1, so they can become U.S. citizens before the election — in addition to registering 10,000 new voters.
The list goes on: The Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition (CIRC) wants to help naturalize 1,500 people, along with five to seven partner organizations. SEIU Florida has helped almost 1,000 people already through citizenship workshops the union does in churches, where people are more trusting of immigration-related services. The Florida Immigrant Coalition — which works with SEIU, AFL-CIO, and other groups — hopes to add 1,500 to that number along with its partners.
And then there’s Mi Familia Vota, an advocacy group with a long history of voter registration and naturalization efforts, aiming to help 300 people begin the months-long naturalization process at their first event of the year. Along with partner organizations, the group will help launch the effort in Las Vegas two days before the Republican primaries begin. The nationwide effort led by iAmerica, labor groups like SEIU, and Mi Familia Vota will include events in Colorado, Florida, Texas, and California.
“We’ve seen more people this year that want to become citizens and specifically because they want to vote against Trump,” said Mi Familia Vota executive director Ben Monterroso.