(Foto: EFE/Archivo)

I was very impressed with what I learned about Esperanza Immigration Legal Services during their Celebrating Hope for New Citizens event on May 13th. As an attorney myself, it is always exciting to know what others are doing in our city.

EILS is a boutique non-profit that has made a long-lasting impact in a historically disenfranchised area, full of possibilities. EILS helps to promote many causes, not the least of which includes the value of immigration, the importance of citizenship, and access to justice. They also help individuals become lawful permanent residents (LPR’s) and U.S. citizens. In the case of the former, LPRs allow individuals to remain in the U.S. for an indefinite period, with work authorization, and the comfort of knowing that their residency in the U.S. is permanent. With respect to the latter, individuals who apply for citizenship through the naturalization process enjoy the same rights as lawful permanent residents, plus the rights of participating in civic life, such as voting. These rights are critical, especially voting rights, as they afford individuals in the Philadelphia community the right representation at the local, state, and national levels. So many live with uncertainty about whether they are eligible to or can achieve their dream of citizenship.

By offering these invaluable legal services, EILS helps make every voice in North Philadelphia felt heard, regardless of their nationality.  EILS’ first fundraiser was a great success. It was very interesting to hear from the honorees Sondra Miller-Wein and Peter Gonzales, both leaders in the immigration services community. I was also deeply moved by the performance by Daniel De Jesús – a testament to the power immigrants bring to this country. EILS is a beacon of hope in our community, and I could not be more thrilled about the organization’s future.

EILS’ Celebrating Hope for New Citizens event raised critical funds for citizenship services. If you need immigration legal services, I encourage you to reach out to EILS by calling 347 719 1402.

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