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For Immediate Release


CitizenshipWorks Now Available in Chinese

Online Tools More Easily Accessible to Large Immigrant Community


New York, October 2, 2012 - CitizenshipWorks, an online resource committed to increasing naturalization rates among eligible immigrants, recently announced the launch of a Chinese-language version of its award-winning website.

Nationally, it is estimated that there are 8.5 million lawful permanent residents who are eligible to apply for citizenship. However, less than 1 million naturalize every year. For many immigrants, the complex laws and regulations that govern the process of naturalization are intimidating. Others simply lack the resources to hire an attorney to begin the process.

The Chinese CitizenshipWorks website (www.citizenshipworks.org/chinese) provides free, easy-to-use, online tools to help individuals understand their eligibility for naturalization, learn about the naturalization process, find legal help, and prepare for the naturalization tests. The site was previously available in English and Spanish; the addition of Chinese will make it available to one of the country's largest and fastest-growing immigrant communities. CitizenshipWorks is the winner of the 2012 Webby Award for Best Law Site, as well as the People's Voice Award in the Law category.

CitizenshipWorks is a project of the Immigration Advocates Network (IAN), a collaborative effort of leading immigrants' rights organizations, and the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, national experts on the naturalization process. The site leverages a technology platform developed by Pro Bono Net, a national nonprofit that works to increase access to justice through innovative uses of technology.

"Language can be a significant barrier to achieving the benefits of citizenship, particularly for those who can't afford an attorney," said Matthew Burnett, Director of the Immigration Advocates Network. "The Chinese-language version of CitizenshipWorks will empower more legal permanent residents to apply for citizenship and take an active and informed role in the naturalization process."

"The Chinese-language version of CitizenshipWorks will demystify the naturalization process for Chinese immigrants across the country," said Stewart Kwoh, President and Executive Director at the Asian Pacific American Legal Center. "For APALC, this new tool complements our national effort to naturalize more Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and enables us to be more efficient in delivering naturalization services to our clients."

CitizenshipWorks is funded by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, the Grove Foundation, the Knight Foundation, Open Society Foundations, and the Carnegie Corporation of New York.


About the Immigration Advocates Network: The Immigration Advocates Network (IAN) is a collaborative effort of leading immigrants' rights organizations designed to increase access to justice for low-income immigrants and strengthen the capacity of organizations serving them. IAN promotes more effective and efficient communication, collaboration, and services among immigration advocates and organizations by providing free, easily accessible and comprehensive online resources and tools. IAN's partners include the ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project, American Bar Association Commission on Immigration, American Immigration Council, American Immigration Lawyers Association, ASISTA, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, National Immigration Law Center, National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, Pro Bono Net, and the Advocates for Human Rights. To learn more, visit www.immigrationadvocates.org.

About the Immigrant Legal Resource Center: The Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) is a non-profit national resource center that provides legal trainings, educational materials, and advocacy to advance immigrant rights. Founded in 1979, the mission of the ILRC is to work with and educate immigrants, community organizations, and the legal sector to continue to build a democratic society that values diversity and the rights of all people. To learn more, visit www.ilrc.org.

About Pro Bono Net: Pro Bono Net (www.probono.net) is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing access to justice through innovative uses of technology and increased volunteer lawyer participation. Pro Bono Net uses innovative web-based platforms -- www.probono.net, www.LawHelp.org and www.LawHelpInteractive.org -- to recruit and support volunteer lawyers and provide direct information and self-help tools to low-income communities.

About APALC: The Asian Pacific American Legal Center, a member of the Asian American Center for Advancing Justice, is the nation?s largest legal and civil rights organization for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (NHPI). Founded in 1983, APALC serves more than 15,000 individuals and organizations every year. Through direct services, impact litigation, policy advocacy, leadership development, and capacity building, APALC focuses on the most vulnerable members of Asian American and NHPI communities while also building a strong voice for civil rights and social justice. APALC is based in downtown Los Angeles, with satellite offices in Orange County and Sacramento.

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