King Hall Naturalization Workshops Draw Large Turnouts, Media Coverage
King Hall faculty, students, and alumni are participating in a series of naturalization workshops this month, bringing free legal assistance to community members with immigration-related issues in Sacramento and the northern Central Valley. The workshops drew advance coverage from Capitol Public Radio on March 26, and television station Univision 19 covered a pre-workshop informational meeting held that day in Sacramento.
"We often end up participating in proceedings attempting to stop removal of immigrants from the United States," Dean Kevin R. Johnson said in an interview on Capital Public Radio. "And, it seems to us that one way of helping the immigrant community before they end up getting in any trouble is to try to get their paperwork in order so they can naturalize and become U.S. citizens. "
About 60 people attended the March 26 informational meeting to hear presentations by Professor Cruz Reynoso, Sacramento Superior Court Judge Emily Vasquez, and Assembly member Roger Dickinson on the importance of civic engagement and voting. King Hall alumni Santiago Avila-Gomez '02, Shannon Going '10, Esmeralda Soria '11, and Amagda Pérez '91, Director of the UC Davis School of Law Immigration Law Clinic and Executive Director of the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation, also made presentations on the requirements and process for naturalization.
At the César Chávez Day of Service March 31 naturalization workshop in Sacramento, about 80 eligible lawful permanent residents began the naturalization process with the assistance of 38 UC Davis law students and eight University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law students. In addition to Avila-Gomez, Going, and Soria, King Hall alumni Christina Lee '03, Clara Levers '03, Susana Solano '10, Avantika Rao '02, and Aida Macedo '11 participated as volunteer attorneys conducting final review of the applications, as did Professor Carter White. Professor Leticia Saucedo, Director of the UC Davis Clinical Program, oversaw the application completion process and responded to questions from the law students. American Immigration Lawyers Association attorneys Eric Tomlinson, Diane Mahoney, Erin J. Quinn, Katie Oldham, and Miriam Porter also assisted with final review of applications. McGeorge School of Law Dean Designate Jay Mootz also attended the naturalization workshop.
On April 2, about 100 participants attended a pre-workshop informational meeting in Riverbank, a city in Stanislaus County. Riverbank Mayor Virginia Madueño, Patterson Mayor Luis Molina, and congressional candidate and retired astronaut Jose Hernandez all spoke about the importance of becoming United States citizens and voting. Madueño, Molina, and Hernandez commended King Hall for bringing much-needed immigration legal services to underserved communities in the Central Valley. Professor Pérez gave a presentation to the participants on the eligibility requirements for naturalization.
An additional informational forum will be held on April 9 in Stockton. The naturalization workshop for the northern Central Valley will be held at the University of the Pacific on April 14.
Capital Public Radio