SOUTH LOS ANGELES - Subsidized in part by $500,000 from the Los Angeles City Council, an immigration services office in South L.A. officially opened its doors Wednesday at a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The Coalition for Human Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles satellite office is part of an effort to help area residents apply for U.S. citizenship.
"We have been able to greatly expand all types of immigration services, with particular emphasis on citizenship services," Angelica Salas, CHIRLA's executive director, said at the event.
Between 2010 and 2014, more than 10,000 Los Angeles residents were eligible to apply for citizenship, according to a recent USC study. Many have not applied due to financial reasons, Salas said.
"Their average income is around $24,000 a year," she said.
City Councilman Curren Price, who was reelected in March, designated a $1,000,000 grant to two immigrant-rights organizations February.
The move proves "once again that the city of L.A. stands with our immigrant community," Price said at the ribbon-cutting. "We're going to fight tooth and nail when it comes to taking care of each other."
The money will also help 9th District residents who cannot afford the approximately $700 cost.
"If you want to become a citizen and you live in District 9, please come in, because we might be able to do this for free," Salas said, adding that the new office has submitted 50 applications for citizenship since it opened in March.