At this year's citizenship fair, the lines were long and the hallways were packed. Many have met the minimal requirements to apply for citizenship. They've been working in the U.S. for five years, have been married to a U.S. citizen for three years and have clean police records.
Edison Severino, chairman of the Liuna Latino Caucus, says many immigrants need help getting through the process.
"It's a long application; it's a little bit complicated," says Severino. "Some people qualify and they don't know they qualify. Some people may think they don’t qualify and they already do."
Severino says the citizenship fair held in the District is just the beginning of a nationwide push to get immigrant workers to take advantage of the nation’s immigration laws, an effort he says is vital to giving Hispanics a louder voice in this democracy.
"In order for us to make sure that we get counted, not only in the census but also in the ballot box," he says. "And in order to do that we need to become fully a part of this society, not only as workers and immigrants and residents, but also as citizens so we can vote."
Similar citizenship fairs are planned in Nevada, San Francisco and the Pacific Northwest.