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Citizenship Day


APRIL 8, 2010

ABLE Hosts Second Annual Citizenship Day Events
at the Center for Equal Justice

Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc. (ABLE) will participate in Citizenship Day 2010 on Saturday, April 17 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in the new Center for Equal Justice in downtown Toledo.  Sponsored nationally by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), ABLE is a host-site for this single-day workshop being held around the country. Advance appointments are not necessary.

"ABLE attorneys and advocates will be available to provide assistance to lawful permanent residents eligible for naturalization," says Visalakshi (Sala) Gembala, a staff attorney with ABLE's Migrant Farmworker and Immigration Program.  Staffed by volunteer immigration attorneys, paralegals, interpreters and other community members, applicants will be able to consult with professionals and ensure that their documentation is complete.
 

APRIL 8, 2010

ABLE Hosts Second Annual Citizenship Day Events
at the Center for Equal Justice

Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc. (ABLE) will participate in Citizenship Day 2010 on Saturday, April 17 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in the new Center for Equal Justice in downtown Toledo.  Sponsored nationally by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), ABLE is a host-site for this single-day workshop being held around the country. Advance appointments are not necessary.

"ABLE attorneys and advocates will be available to provide assistance to lawful permanent residents eligible for naturalization," says Visalakshi (Sala) Gembala, a staff attorney with ABLE's Migrant Farmworker and Immigration Program.  Staffed by volunteer immigration attorneys, paralegals, interpreters and other community members, applicants will be able to consult with professionals and ensure that their documentation is complete.

One of five sites throughout Ohio offering this workshop, attendees will receive assistance filling out all necessary documents required by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS).  In addition, advice and information on future steps in the naturalization process, including interviews, English proficiency exams, and civics tests administered by CIS will be provided. Recent developments and initiatives regarding immigration issues, including the doubling of filing fees and making the required testing more rigorous, are inducing lawful permanent residents to seek citizenship as they become eligible to do so.

"ABLE does not charge a fee for our services," adds Gembala. "Our role is to assist applicants with a process that is often overwhelming and difficult to understand and complete."  Throughout the day, applicants will be able to consult with attorneys and other volunteers to ensure their documentation is complete.  There is, however, a filing fee of $675 payable to the Department of Homeland Security. Applicants are not expected to have filing fees the day of the workshop.

Participants are encouraged to bring copies of one or all of the following documents: permanent resident card, all passports, old and new, current ID (driver's license, state ID), marriage certificates if applicable, and any other paperwork or documentation related to residency or identification.

"We are pleased to again be a part of this national effort to help individuals seeking citizenship," says Gembala.  Each year, hundreds of thousands of immigrants, from all corners of the world, embrace the ideals of freedom and democracy and become United States citizens. Throughout its 40 year history, ABLE has represented migrant farmworkers and immigrants throughout Ohio to ensure they receive equal protection under the law.

The Center for Equal Justice is located at 525 Jefferson Avenue, (on the corners of Huron Street and Jefferson Avenue) directly across from the new Lucas County Arena. Meter parking is free on Saturdays.