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Local volunteers help immigrants in Hawaii become American citiz - Honolulu, Hawaii news, sports & weather - KITV Channel 4

Local volunteers help immigrants in Hawaii fulfill dream to become American citizens

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It’s the American Dream, thousands try to achieve the opportunity to become an American citizen.

Some Hawaii residents extended their aloha to those in the “Pursuit of Happiness”.

The sound of loud cheers poured through Blaisdell Center for each person who finished their application. A process that took several hours and many said was daunting. There were 200 volunteers there to help them through each step and celebrate when they finished.

“I saw them excited and just living into their dream to become a citizen. I saw them happy.  I talked to one earlier, she was just shaking because she’s so excited to become a citizen.” Said President of Unite Here Local 5, Gemma Weinstein.

Immigration Attorney John Egan says Hawaii is an immigrant state, with 18% of residents foreign born. He says it’s important for him to donate his time to help them.

“Me and a whole lot of other attorneys here today are doing this for free.  Just back stopping the forms, checking to make sure there’s no problems. Why do we do it? Because we care about these people. These are people in our community.” Said Egan.

Organizers from the various local groups who put on the workshop say many immigrants are living in fear of deportation, especially those that have family here.  But, for the 150 immigrants in attendance, they are one step closer to fulfilling their American dream.

 

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