In honor of the July 4th holiday last week, we are celebrating the naturalization of several of our clients, which is when someone becomes a U.S. citizen. Before becoming a citizen, a person must first become a Legal Permanent Resident, which is colloquially referred to as having a Green Card. Here are just three recent stories.
Amani* came to the United States as a refugee from Sudan when he was only 20. As soon as he was eligible, he applied for his Green Card, and was approved. Since receiving his Green Card, Amani has spent his time working multiple jobs to provide for his mother and three younger siblings.
When the time finally came for Amani to apply for citizenship earlier this year, he came to our office for assistance. Our Immigrant Justice Program helped him to file for naturalization. This spring, he attended his interview and took his exam. Amani passed both and became a U.S. citizen in June.
Su* came to the United States as a refugee from Burma and received her Green Card nearly a decade ago. Although her husband was able to naturalize last year, Su was not eligible until this year.
She came to the Legal Clinic through the Raphael Health Center, looking for help with her application. She attended a class through the Washington Township Program to improve her English and to study for the civics exam. While she prepared, we helped Su file her application. One of our volunteer attorneys attended her interview with her and she passed with confidence. Just a few weeks ago, Su became a U.S. citizen.
Ismail* is from Morocco and received his Green Card in 2014 when he came to the United States with his wife, Yasmine*, and their son, Emir*. Since coming to the U.S., Ismail and his wife have had two more children. Ismail has worked a full-time job throughout his tenure in this country, while Yasmine has stayed home with their children.
When Ismail visited the Clinic earlier this year, he was seeking help to apply for citizenship. He had attempted to file on his own, but his fee waiver was rejected. Our staff helped him to redo his application, and helped Yasmine file an application for citizenship as well. Both attended interviews with a volunteer attorney and became U.S. citizens in May.
When Ismail and Yasmine became citizens, Emir automatically became a citizen as well. We are therefore now helping their family to obtain a Certificate of Citizenship for Emir. Obtaining this certificate will give them the documentation that they need to prove his citizenship.
With the help of our committed volunteers, we were able to help these individuals and families obtain citizenship in exchange for just a few simple hours of work. Because of this, each of them will now have the protection and pride of U.S. Citizenship that so many clients crave.
*Client names and certain identifying details have been changed