Rutgers Launches Tri-Campus ‘Citizenship Rutgers’

October 11, 2011 - no comments. Posted by in Citizenship Rutgers.

Immigrant Family

A very happy immigrant family from CR New Brunswick!

The best of Rutgers was on display with the launch of Citizenship Rutgers, a university-based citizenship application assistance project, in New Brunswick on April 9, 2011.

This tri-campus collaboration brought representatives of New Jersey’s approximately 400,000 Legal Permanent Residents to the Student Center in New Brunswick. Each participant sat down with an immigration lawyer to examine their documents and a student, faculty or staff member who had been trained on the N200 form.

Students, faculty, staff and alumni from 24 countries around the world and around New Jersey, rolled up their sleeves to do the work of integration, together with friends, colleagues, classmates and neighbors.

Thanks to 50+ Rutgers volunteers and our friends from the City University of New York’s CITIZENSHIP NOW!, nearly 100 people had a free consultation with an immigration lawyer. Of these just over 50 people met the eligibility standard to complete the application. All of this was accomplished in just a three hour window. 

Those who received professional legal assistance free of charge from immigration lawyers volunteering their time included Rutgers students (grad and undergrad), staff (from development to food services), and faculty (at least one department chair, and numerous others), along with their friends, family and neighbors.

New Jersey’s storied diversity was on display among those who participated. They came from 24 different nations: the United Kingdom, India, the Philippines, Nigeria, Honduras, Slovakia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, Sierra Leone, Jamaica, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, El Salvador, Portugal, Argentina, Republic of Georgia, Ghana, Peru, Hong Kong, and the Dominican Republic.

Student volunteers contributed their cultural knowledge, language capacity, technical know-how and civic enthusiasm.

Citizenship NOW staff (Director, Allan Wernick; Deputy Director, James McGovern; and Special Projects Coordinator, Kymete Gashi), provided critical technical assistance based on the 14-year history of running that project across the five boroughs of New York City.

Bonner leader Giuseppe Cespedes led the energetic and skilled cadre of undergraduate volunteers methodically through the painstaking process of application assistance.

Giuseppe Cespedes and Dr. Anastasia Mann

Giuseppe Cespedes and Dr. Anastasia Mann

A cooperative venture on an unprecedented scale, Citizenship Rutgers mustered faculty, students and alumni from Rutgers law schools at Camden and Newark. They provided much of the required guidance and expertise.

Like the best collaborations, Citizenship Rutgers marries esprit de corps with efficiency and excellence. All were readily on display at this kickoff event.

Onward! A delante!

Stay tuned: Next stops for Citizenship Rutgers are drives at Camden (10/1) and Newark (10/29)!

For information about joining the Citizenship Rutgers volunteer corps, supporting the effort financially, or receiving assistance, write to Dr. Anastasia Mann amann@rutgers.edu

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