IIBA offers citizenship workshops throughout the Bay Area, helping legal permanent residents apply for and gain citizenship. Many of IIBA’s workshop volunteers are attorneys providing valuable pro bono hours. In addition, many of our volunteers are employees of major technology companies committed to giving back to the communities in which they work and live.
On September 12, IIBA held a citizenship workshop in Redwood City. James Chang, a patent attorney, volunteered because his father and his mother’s parents are immigrants. “Both sides fled governments oppressing their people,” James says. “So this is the kind of work that I think is very straightforward and simple and a necessary first step to help make sure that those who are eligible can become citizens.”
Emily Soverel, an attorney at Google, has volunteered at multiple IIBA workshops in the past, and she recently supported DACA applicants at a workshop dedicated to helping DREAMERS navigate their now uncertain futures. “I just find it rewarding,” Emily says. “It’s great to meet people, and everybody I have met has been really sweet. I want to give back.” In the past year, Emily has tried to focus all her pro bono work on DACA and citizenship applications.
Mona Sergi, a software engineer at Google, decided to volunteer at the recent citizenship workshop because she completed her own naturalization process just six months ago. Mona knows first hand how important it is to have support along the way on the path to citizenship.