Rosalinda Jamiro, 81, a World War II survivor and proud mother of 10 children, emigrated from the Philippines in 1987 as a legal permanent resident through a petition by one of her U.S. citizen children. Along with her now-deceased husband, Capt. Ernesto Jamiro, they sought a better life in America.
Capt. Jamiro became a naturalized U.S. citizen in the 1990s, and urged Rosalinda to do the same. But she was reluctant, partly because she had difficultly learning English and struggled with the idea of the U.S., not her native island of Cebu, as her home.
After more than two decades of living in the U.S., it was only upon the death of her husband in 2009 that she finally accepted this country as home, given that her husband was now buried in America.
In 2011, her grandson joined the staff of the Asian Pacific American Legal Center and invited Rosalinda to attend a free citizenship workshop hosted by APALC and the Filipino American Service Group, Inc. At the workshop, Rosalinda was one of 60 immigrants who were able to apply for naturalization.
When asked what she first hoped to do upon obtaining citizenship, Rosalinda said: “Gusto kong bumoto. (I would like to vote.)”
Are you like Rosalinda and want to become an American citizen? Since 1993, APALC has provided this type of culturally and linguistically appropriate citizenship help for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders.
APALC offers free citizenship application clinics from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on the first and third Fridays of every month at APALC, 1145 Wilshire Blvd., in downtown Los Angeles. At the clinics, APALC staff and trained volunteers help qualified green card holders complete their Applications for Naturalization (Form N-400) and assess eligibility for various waivers. Clinic participants receive a free copy of Citizenship 101: Your Guide to Citizenship, a comprehensive instructional DVD and workbook package. The video is available in Korean, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Cantonese, Mandarin, Hindi, and English.
Passport photos will be available at the clinic for $5, although applicants are welcome to bring their own.
Appointments are strongly encouraged, and can be made by calling APALC at (213) 977-7500 ext. 224.