Fred Piegonski, Executive Assistant to the President  
               Los Angeles City College, 855 N. Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90029 
                           (323) 953-4000  ext. 2243                            

                      For Immediate Release:  September 7, 2006

LA City College’s Citizenship Fair Set for Sept. 23

Photo:  LACC’s Angel Amaro with the N-400 Citizenship application form.

LACC’s Angel Amaro with the N-400 Citizenship application form—helping people to achieve their dreams.

Everything You Need to Know to Become a U.S. Citizen

“One of the greatest rewards of my job is knowing that I’m helping people make their dreams come true—by helping them to become U.S citizens,” said Angel Amaro, who is coordinating a Citizenship Fair at LA City College slated for Saturday, Sept. 23.

LA City College has a complete citizenship training program which it offers community residents free of charge. The Sept. 23 fair will show people what steps they need to take to become citizens.  The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at LACC’s campus at 855 N. Vermont in Hollywood.

At least 100 volunteers will be on hand to help individuals fill out the N-400 application form required of all citizenship applicants.   Application photos can also be taken on the spot, free of charge.   For more information, contact Mr. Amaro at (323) 953-4000, ext. 2235 or email him at

“The purpose of our program is to promote citizenship in the United States, and encourage new citizens to take part in civic life by voting in elections,” said Mr. Amaro.

To become a U.S. citizen, one must have five years of permanent residency in the U.S. or be married to an American citizen for three years.  One must apply for citizenship by completing form N-400 and sending it (along with a $400 fee) to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Approximately six months later, applicants will be invited for an interview at which time they must demonstrate basic English proficiency as well as basic knowledge of U.S. history and government.   After they pass this interview, individuals are then invited to a swearing-in ceremony at which time they receive their naturalization papers.

LACC offers free classes in English-as-a-second-language as well as history and government.  “I encourage students to enroll for at least three months of classes to prepare themselves for their interview,” said Mr. Amaro.  “Many people don’t know about LACC’s program and easily pay lawyers $500 to $1,000 for the services that we provide free.”

“I’ve always enjoyed helping people,” said Mr. Amaro, who has been teaching citizenship classes at LACC for the past two years.   Prior to coming to Los Angeles, he worked as a residential counselor at the Youth Adult Institute in Spanish Harlem in New York City, where he helped the mild to severely disabled live independently.  He received his bachelor’s degree in psychology.

“At LACC we help about 1,500 to 2,000 people attain citizenship each year,” said Mr. Amaro. “Our applicants are of all national backgrounds, including many from Spanish-speaking lands as well as those of Armenian or Russian heritage.”

“I ask many of the people I help why they want to become citizens,” said Mr. Amaro. “ ‘Freedom ,’ they answer, ‘or I want to have a voice in my government.’   And it’s surprising the number of older individuals who have lived here for more than 20 years, who want to make a point of becoming a citizen before they die.”

Citizenship Fair at LA City College
855 N. Vermont Avenue
in Hollywood
9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 23

Items to Bring
If you have been a legal resident of the U.S. for more than five years and want to become a U.S. citizen, you are asked to bring the following information and documents to the fair: legal resident card, social security card, list of addresses (for past five years), list of jobs held (for past five years), list of trips taken since becoming U.S. resident, information about spouse and children, a $400 check or money order made payable to Department of Homeland Security.  

Free Services Provided
LACC will provide the following free of charge:  photographs, N-400 application completion, copies of documentation, and delivery of application to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, citizenship practice test and interview, 100 history and government questions, non-credit Citizenship, Civics and ESL classes.


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