Deferred Action, Immigration, Citizenship, at Whose Cost..?
Here is a question for you that I would love to get some feedback on — all together, with me? Great! Ever since our esteemed Emperor Obama decided on his own, no Congress, no real advisors, basically just special interest groups and what they aspire to do with what they have either borrowed, stolen, or committed some crime in order to get, the all hallowed purse.
As for me, I am just disgusted over the entire mess; especially when it concerns the little children that hurriedly rushed the border last autumn.
These children can be offered to be part of the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents program or DACA. I will not try and speak for you, but, what little was covered by the mainstream media — in addition to the festivities moving spritely in Switzerland on a deal that is a slam dunk for Iran.
On a recent Thursday evening, immigrants from Trinidad, Ghana and Haiti gathered at the Brooklyn Public Library’s Central branch to bone up on American history.
“I want you to name seven of the 13 British colonies,” instructor Miguel Angeles told his class, sitting around a large table in a sunny, third-floor boardroom overlooking Grand Army Plaza.
“We talked about this last week. Does anyone know?
The adult students were preparing for the civics test that new Americans must pass in order to become a U.S. citizen. During the naturalization interview, a United States Citizenship and Information Services officer picks 10 questions from a list of 100 — and applicants need to get six of them right.
“I really didn’t feel ready to do it,” said Shaliza Mohammed, 53, who left Trinidad for Ridgewood, Queens 27 years ago. The class is helping, she said.
Last fall, the Brooklyn Public Library began offering free citizenship courses like the one Mohammed attends. And in October the library also started hosting two Board of Immigration Appeals-accredited Immigrant Justice Corp fellows, recent college graduates who help with forms and advice once a week at several different branches.
“We were looking for ways to engage our communities in more robust ways, and more meaningful ways,” said Nicholas Higgins, director of outreach services in the library’s 60-branch system. The library secured a grant from USCIS and applied to be one of 17 citywide host organizations with the Immigrant Justice Corp fellows.
“I think one of the main focuses of our fellowship is to make sure that people have access to quality immigration services, because I’ve seen so many clients who say, ‘I paid $7,000 to X and they told me they would get me a green card. And I never heard from them again and they changed their phone number,’” said Fayette, a recent Brown University graduate from Boston.
While Brooklyn has launched the most recent initiative, the Queens Library and New York Public Library also offer immigrant services — from free English classes to help applying for the U.S. Department of State’s diversity visa lottery, which randomly gives green cards to people from countries with historically low rates of immigration to the U.S. Library branches around the city serve as enrollment centers for the city’s new Municipal ID.
Libraries can become trusted resources to help newcomers assimilate — as long as immigrants realize they are there. Pardon me, please…pardon me just a moment, please. Are all of your readers grasping what is being put forth here? Assimilation? Allow me to be the first one to let you know that if a person came to this Nation 27 perhaps even 30 years ago can’t pass, then why all the hoopla?
A recent national study found that just 60% of Latino immigrants had visited a library or bookmobile, compared to 83% of U.S.-born Latinos. Those who had, however, were among the most appreciative of what libraries offer and were more likely than other groups to say that the closing of a library in their community would have a major impact on their family, according to Pew Research Center research.
The first graduate to successfully pass her interview was Nohomi Yamazaki, a Japanese immigrant who now lives in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens.