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August 13, 2013 > Citizenship Assistance Fair

Citizenship Assistance Fair

Submitted By Linette Escobar

Laborers Local 304 is hosting a Citizenship Application Fair on Saturday, April 17, in partnership with the East Bay Naturalization Collaborative. Lawyers, citizenship assistants and bilingual volunteers will help Bay Area immigrants apply for citizenship. This is a free event.

Local non-profits are urging eligible permanent residents to become citizens in order to benefit from status as a U.S. citizen. According to Kyra Lilien, Immigration Attorney at Centro Legal de la Raza, U.S. citizens have increased opportunities for family reunification under current law. "Only U.S. citizens can sponsor their parents and siblings, and petitions for spouses and children are much faster for U.S. citizens than for permanent residents," explains Lilien. It is not clear if these sponsorship categories will be the same in the future. Additionally, citizens can fully participate in the democratic process by accessing the right to vote.

Among the local non-profits leading the charge to increase the number of citizens is Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach, Catholic Charities of the East Bay, Centro Legal de la Raza, East Bay Sanctuary, International Institute of the Bay Area, and International Rescue Committee. In 2011, these immigration service providers created the East Bay Collaborative, a partnership designed to support each organization's citizenship efforts by sharing tools and best practices, and providing volunteer support at large-scale citizenship fairs.

The workshop will be held at Laborers Local 304 at 29475 Mission Blvd. in Hayward.
Pre-registration is mandatory and we urge people to register immediately by calling (510) 437-1554, x112 (English and Spanish). They will be given a time to come in when they call. Screeners can help answer pre-event questions. Applicants must bring required documents to the event as listed at www.centrolegal.org . Additionally, participants must bring a $680 USCIS application fee (if 75 years or older, the fee is $595). Fees can be paid by check or money order, payable to "Department of Homeland Security.

Citizenship Fair
Saturday, Aug 17
10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
PRE-Registration is mandatory
Laborers Local 304 - Alameda County
29475 Mission Blvd, Hayward
(510) 437-1554 ext 112
www.centrolegal.org

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