Elk Grove adult education instructors like Diane Villanueva have
been teaching civics and English as a Second Language classes to
immigrants for decades. But they haven't been able to assist with
the naturalization application paperwork.
"It's always been kind of nerve-wracking because we can
teach the content but we can't help the students who need the help
with legal issues."
That's about to change thanks to a new $160,000 grant from
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Kathy Hamilton with Elk Grove's Adult Ed program says the
money will be used to partner with the California Rural Legal
Assistance Foundation which will host several naturalization
"CRLAF will be bringing in law students from UC Davis to
help guide and advise people as they're going through that
Hamilton says the grant will also be used to expand services
beyond South Sacramento to North Sacramento and parts of San
Joaquin and Yolo Counties.
In addition to Elk Grove Unified, Catholic Charities of the
Diocese of Stockton has also been awarded a U.S. Citizenship and
Immigration Services grant. Nationwide, 30 organizations are
getting $5 million to help immigrants become citizens.