“Far from the public eye, the Trump administration is strangling the naturalization process.”
– Steven Choi, National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA), a coalition of advocacy groups that is pushing to offer naturalization workshops and legal services to would-be citizens
Action #1 – Ask our legislators to stop the paperwork war on those who would be citizens.
The Trump administration is sneakily interfering with the citizenship process. While the 750,793 people who have applied for citizenship since last June is a normal number (Nine million immigrants are eligible to become citizens), the rate at which their applications are being processed is the lowest in a decade. On top of the $725 immigrants must pay to apply for citizenship, the wait for naturalization is now twice what it was two years ago, ranging from ten months to 31 months in some places, with no legitimate excuse to explain the slowdown. Lawyers claim that the Citizenship & Immigration Services has become “a third immigration enforcement component of DHS.” More green card holders are being deported under harsher Trump-rules too, with their information being shared with ICE. The NPNA states that the Trump administration is creating a “second wall” of barriers to citizenship and resultant voting rights, with:
- inexplicable and increasing backlogs of citizenship applications, preventing naturalization for those who should have been able to vote in the 2020 election.
- possible regulation changes that will do away with existing fee waivers that assist elderly, disabled, refugees and poor immigrants to get citizenship.
- possible additions like requiring birth certificates for children, impossible for refugees from many countries, submission of tax returns, and arrest records that may be the basis of asylum requests.
- a new regulation requiring disabled applicants to now submit their Form N-648 waiver at the same time as their application or be suspect of fraud.
- wasted time, money and energy being direct to a new “denaturalization” force.
Minimal action: Go to the email sites of your representative and two senators. Fill in the required information confirming that you are their constituant and then click “immigration” for subject.
On the comment line, put in: What are you doing to stop Trump’s “second wall” of barriers” to citizenship through the USCIS? Please work with experts like NPNA to create a bill that fixes maximum deadlines for the USCIS to process paperwork, locks in existing fee waivers, forbids the inclusion of impossible-to-fulfill record requirements, maintains English-language exceptions for older applicants and allows disabled applicants to get their application in line prior to accruing medical records. See this attached link for details.
(https://drive.google.com/file/d/1m-eligltec8-KGZeziRwhnOKIKAYZZCL/view) Yes, I would like a response.
Rep. Julia Brownley: email
or Rep. Salud Carbajal: email.
Senator Feinstein: email
and Senator Harris: email
Who is my representative/senator?: https://whoismyrepresentative.com
Action #2 – THIS Sunday, 2/24 – Come join us at “Swap Meet Justice!” and help spread the word!
You do not need to be a lawyer. You do not need to speak another language. However, all volunteers with bilingual skills are appreciated.
Every last Sunday of the month!
1/27(done), 2/24, 3/31, 4/28, 5/26, 6/30, 7/28, 8/25, 9/29, 10/27, 11/24, and 12/29. You may come for a shorter amount of time, but please come at 8:30 for new volunteer orientation. We also don’t start new applications after 1:30 or 2:00, so we can finish in time for the marketplace’s closing.
Where: Oxnard College Marketplace & Swap Meet (see map below and directions below)
What do we do?
- We help people with qualifying permanent residency (green) cards fill out the application to become CITIZENS, and VOTERS! Three people have already become citizens since SEIU started these fairs. This is truly life-changing stuff and it just doesn’t get better than that.
- We help also DACA recipients, amazing and hardworking students and workers maintain their status.
- We’re now helping with GREEN card renewals and Selective Service applications.
- We will also register VOTERS.
Come join us!
- New volunteer training: We ask first-time volunteers to be join us for a quick lesson on how to fill out the forms at 8:30 – 9:30. You do not need to be a lawyer.
- You need to be detail-oriented, good with paperwork, have legible handwriting and willing to accept instruction from the immigration professionals amongst us.
- You do not need to speak another language, but we appreciate all bilingual volunteers. Not all applicants speak Spanish, but many at the Oxnard College Swap meet do. We will team up volunteers to best help each applicant.
- You do not need to be a citizen or an adult. Motivated teenagers would be most welcome.
- You do need to be patient, kind and willing to smile. Sometime the forms take a couple of hours to get through, even with a couple of volunteers working on them together.
- Getting the word out is just as important. We need to have posters placed on as many public bulletin boards (libraries, cafeterias, schools, stores, laundromats, apartment laundry rooms, etc.) as possible and double-sided hand-outs placed on counters where the public can find them. We had downloadable posters with old-school pull-off tabs, as well as 1/2 sheet and 1/4 sheet handouts at the bottom of this post.
- Donations are helpful too. This fair is staffed by volunteers, but uses an huge amount of printing ink, paper, and office supplies. We would be honored by any donations to help us continue this project here.
One of the things we’ve discovered since the last presidential election is how much can be accomplished by regular concerned citizens. We also realize how lucky we are that our forebears, leaving behind starvation, desperate poverty or persecution, were able to come to America and start again.
Therefore, we decided to do something hands-on to share a little of our own good fortune to help the newest immigrants in our community.
Join us, local Indivisible groups, amazing immigration attorneys, El Concilio, SEIU, CLUE and volunteers from everywhere, as we help people work through the government forms required to maintain or improve their legal status. Even to become American citizens. And voters! For free. On Sundays. Once a month.
Where is the Oxnard College Swap Meet? And when I get there, where do I go?
Take the Rose Ave. exit, EXIT 61
Turn right onto N Rose Ave.
Turn left onto North Campus Road
Take the Rose Ave. exit, EXIT 61
Turn left onto N Rose Ave.
Turn left onto North Campus Road
By choosing to attend this event, you are committing to participate nonviolently and in accordance with the law, to work to de-escalate confrontations with others, and to obey the orders of authorized event marshals and of law enforcement. You also acknowledge that you are solely responsible for any injury or damage to your person or property resulting from or occurring during this event and that you release all event sponsors and organizers (and their officers, directors, employees, and agents) from any liability for that injury or damage.
(Each type of handout is provided in both jpg and pdf format below. Jpgs are set for minimum margin printing. Pdfs are set for “standard” or “minimum margins”. Experiment – every printer is slightly different.)
1/2 sheet handouts (2 per page)
These jpegs can be printed out on minimum margins. Top two for manual flipping, bottom for printers that can be automatically set to print 2 sides.
Mixed – Front/Back (jpg):
Poster with pull-off tabs (cut vertical dotted lines, pull off one tab & post)
Color Poster (jpg):
Black and White Poster (jpg):
1/4 sheet handouts (4 per page)
English front (jpg):
Spanish front/back (jpg):
Spanish back (jpg):