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November 20, 2012 - no comments. Posted by in Uncategorized.

Andrea Huerta | AmeriCorps Member


Americorps member, Eagleton Institute of Politics. Huerta, from North Brunswick N.J, is a senior in the Rutgers Newark College of Arts and Sciences pursuing a degree in political science. Her interests in immigration policies led her to work with the Program on Immigration and Democracy at Eagleton where she now serves as an Americorps member doing her service this academic year. Huerta collaborates with the Immigration and Democracy program in organizing citizenship drives providing free assistance to legal permanent residents in filing out their citizenship application forms.

She came to the University as an Edward J. Bloustein Distinguished Scholar and member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and Pi Sigma Alpha. She served as president of Model United Nations on the Newark campus and was among a few students to create the organization. Huerta interned with Councilman Donald Payne Junior at Newark City hall and continues to collaborate with the campaign and office. She also interned at the New Jersey Democratic State Committee throughout the summer of her junior year at Rutgers.

During the 2013 academic year she is a member of the Darien Learning Community Program with Elizabeth Matto and Andrew Murphy at Eagleton. Huerta enjoys the competitiveness of sports and participated in the soccer co-ed intramural team on Busch Campus. In the future, she would like to attend graduate school for public policy and pursue a degree in immigration law.

November 20, 2012 - no comments. Posted by in Uncategorized.

Randi Chmielewski | Coordinator for Public Programs and Special Projects


Chmielewski is coordinator for public programs and special projects at the Eagleton Institute of Politics. She is an alumna of the Eagleton Undergraduate Associate Program and previously worked as special assistant to the mayor in Edison Township. Chmielewski holds a BA in Political Science from Rutgers University and an MPA in Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy from the NYU Wagner School.

July 4, 2012 - no comments. Posted by in Uncategorized.

USCIS: “Deferred Action” and “Provisional Waivers” public information

CAUTION: READ BEFORE YOU HIRE A LAWYER OR FILE PAPERS



The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced certain changes in immigration policy since the beginning of 2012.

USCIS is warning individuals to read this information before taking further action.

English language fliers are available below for each, and a Spanish language flier for the Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver I-601 process.

i60-poster-FINAL050112AS
i601 poster FINAL050212ASspanish
2012-Fact-Sheet-Deferred Action

SEEK REPUTABLE HELP. DO NOT HIRE A “NOTARIO.”

In English a “notario” is not the same as a lawyer.
Do not pay anyone who is presenting him or herself as a “notario” to do anything on your behalf.

Across New Jersey there are various certified free and low cost legal service providers. These are lawyers and accredited representatives who have been certified as knowledgable and professional. See the list or consult the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) for a reputable immigration lawyer near you.

Information on the new policies is available below:

Deferred Action Process for Young People Who Are Low Enforcement Priorities:
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) alerts eligible individuals NOT to submit a deferred action request under the Deferred Action Process for Young People memorandum issued by Secretary Napolitano on June 15. If you submit now, your application will be rejected. The Secretary’s directive gives USCIS 60 days to create a process to accept these requests and we are unable to accept requests at this time. Please continue to check our website for updates.
http://www.uscis.gov

The USCIS has released guidance regarding the process for consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals. For information, visit www.uscis.gov/childhoodarrivals.

USCIS wants you to learn the facts about protecting yourself and your family against scammers by visiting http://www.uscis.gov/avoidscams


Public Materials for Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver (I-601):
On March 30, 2012, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) posted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register outlining its plan to reduce the time U.S. citizens are separated from their immediate relatives (spouses, children, parents) while those family members are in the process of obtaining an immigrant visa to become lawful permanent residents of the United States.

THIS NEW PROCESS IS NOT YET IN EFFECT

Since the announcement, USCIS has become aware of public misperceptions about the rule-making process and when the provisional unlawful presence waiver process will take effect. USCIS has issued a number of public education materials to combat these misperceptions including flyers and Public Service Announcements in English and Spanish. These public materials can be found on the USCIS website on the right-hand column.
· Do not send an application requesting a provisional waiver at this time. USCIS will reject any application requesting this new process and we will return the application package and any related fees to the applicant. USCIS cannot accept applications until a final rule is issued and the process change becomes effective.

· Be aware that some unauthorized practitioners of immigration law may wrongly claim they can currently file a provisional waiver application (Form I-601) for you. These same individuals may ask you to pay them to file such forms although the process is not yet in place. Please avoid such scams. USCIS wants you to learn the facts about protecting yourself and your family against scammers by visiting http://www.uscis.gov/avoidscams

May 4, 2012 - no comments. Posted by in Citizenship Rutgers.

THANK YOU, VOLUNTEERS! (NB)

Thank You Poster

Thank you Citizenship Rutgers volunteers!

On Sunday, December 9th, you made it possible for Citizenship Rutgers to provide naturalization application assistance to roughly 60 Legal Permanent Residents. “Americans by choice” who attended represented 25 distinct countries including Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Italy, Jamaica, Liberia, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Sierra Leone, South Korea, Spain, and Venezuela.

As committed volunteers, you welcomed participants to Rutgers and helped them navigate the path to US citizenship. For many, it was their first visit to Rutgers and a day many of them will never forget. Thank you!
A few requests:

  • Tell your friends and family about the project. We’re always on the lookout for new partners, volunteers and funders. These could be individuals, companies or organizations. Send your ideas to CR@eagleton.rutgers.edu.
  • Please take a few minutes to tell us about your Citizenship Rutgers experience. Your feedback will help us know what’s working well and what might be improved.
  • Come back! We look forward to working with you again. Citizenship Rutgers will hold assistance drives on Sunday, March 10 in New Brunswick, Saturday, March 30 in Camden, and Saturday, April 6 in Newark.
  • Find fresh photos and leave comments about the day on CR’s Facebook page.

Once again, thank you for giving generously of your time, your talent and your passion!

With gratitude,

The Citizenship Rutgers Team

May 2, 2012 - no comments. Posted by in Staff.

Vanessa Matthews | Citizenship Rutgers Associate



Vanessa Matthews is a proud Rutgers University alum, having attained both her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Spanish and her Masters of Public Policy as a Scarlet Knight. She is a former Eagleton Fellow and is a volunteer contributor to its Program on Immigration and Democracy. A New Jersey native, Vanessa is a first-generation Dominican-American and currently works in public affairs for a technology company in Kearny, NJ.

Email:

vnessmat@gmail.com

April 26, 2012 - no comments. Posted by in Citizenship Rutgers.

THANK YOU, VOLUNTEERS! (Camden)

Thank You Poster

Thank you Citizenship Rutgers volunteers!

On Saturday afternoon, you made it possible for Citizenship Rutgers to provide naturalization application assistance to 63 Legal Permanent Residents. “Americans by choice” who attended represented 33 distinct countries including Poland, Haiti, China, Ghana, the Philippines, Guatemala, Cuba, Mexico, Russia, Egypt, Bermuda, Ecuador, Belgium and Korea.

As committed volunteers, you welcomed participants to Rutgers and helped them navigate the path to US citizenship. For many, it was their first visit to Rutgers and a day many of them will never forget. Thank you!

A few requests:

  • Tell your friends and family about the project. We’re always on the lookout for new partners, volunteers and funders. These could be individuals, companies or organizations. Send your ideas to CR@eagleton.rutgers.edu.
  • Please take a few minutes to tell us about your Citizenship Rutgers experience. Your feedback will help us know what’s working well and what might be improved.
  • Come back! We look forward to working with you again. Citizenship Rutgers will hold assistance drives on Saturday, November 10 in Newark and Sunday, December 9 in New Brunswick.
  • Find fresh photos and leave comments about the day on CR’s Facebook page.

Once again, thank you for giving generously of your time, your talent and your passion!

With gratitude,

Randi M. Chielewski
Janice Fine
Joanne Gottesman
Andrea Huerta
Eve Klothen
Liz Zahler

April 23, 2012 - no comments. Posted by in Citizenship Rutgers.

Citizenship Rutgers: Jersey Roots, Global Reach

Spanish:

Chinese:

Korean:

April 23, 2012 - no comments. Posted by in Citizenship Rutgers.

Saakshi Arora Interview

Saakshi Arora, a junior at Rutgers University, recently attended a naturalization ceremony hosted by Citizenship Rutgers at the Eagleton Institute of Politics. There, she and her mother became fully naturalized citizens of the United States. Vanessa Matthews, a volunteer with Eagleton’s Program on Immigration and Democracy, interviewed Ms. Arora for a feature article in Citizenship Rutgers’ newsletter and web page at http://epid.rutgers.edu/gallery/citizenship-rutgers/.

Saakshi, a Rutgers student, her mother, a research scientist, and other new Americans raised their rights hands as they were sworn in as US Citizens at Rutgers University, in November 2011.

Vanessa: What is your native country and how long have you been living in the United States?
Saakshi: I am 20 years old and was born in India. I have been living in the United States for 11 years. When I was 9 years old, my mother got a work (H1B) visa with a pharmaceutical company in the United States, which is when we moved.

Vanessa: What was the process like for you to become a naturalized citizen?
Saakshi: I actually thought it was really nice. When I went to take the (citizenship) test in Newark, I was really nervous but they said I passed! About five minutes later someone invited me to the Citizenship Rutgers ceremony. I was excited to accept because being part of Rutgers and Douglass (College) has been an amazing experience so being naturalized on campus was a great idea.

Vanessa: Can you describe your experience as a LPR at RU? Did you face any obstacles?
Saakshi: I came to the U.S. on an H1B visa through my mom’s job, so I didn’t really face any big challenges at Rutgers. After a couple of years, we applied for a Green Card through her company and 5 years after that we applied for citizenship. It took a while but we finally got it and Rutgers’ program to help review the application and documents was great. We were really concerned on whether or not we were doing it the right way, so it was great to have all our questions answered.

Vanessa: How, if at all, has naturalization changed your perspective on higher education or living in the United States in general?
Saakshi: You know, I was asked the same question when I completed the exam in Newark after they found out I was a Rutgers student. At that moment, I didn’t feel anything different; I thought of it as just changing from being an Indian citizen to being an American citizen. But then I realized this is a big deal. I am now really excited to vote, which I couldn’t do when I turned 18, and this is a huge year to do it. Being a citizen of the U.S. also gives me an extra benefit of qualifying for education grants, which I didn’t have access to before, so that’s great.

Vanessa: What insight or advice would you offer to other students, LPRs or undocumented students, in pursuing a path to citizenship?
Saakshi: I would definitely tell them to take the time to research everything. It is difficult to be comfortable with changing your citizenship and people will go through those mixed feelings. But I think it is great once you do because you have so many more options and are able to develop a career path to give your kids better opportunities, like my mom did. I didn’t have that many attachments back in India since I was only 9, so it was less difficult for me, but once people accept that change, then I think the benefits are awesome.

Vanessa: What, if any, other resources did you use to learn about or facilitate your naturalization?
Saakshi: We mainly used the general USCIS website and the Citizenship Rutgers tools.

Vanessa: Since you attended the naturalization ceremony at RU, how did it feel to get your citizenship on the same campus where you are also earning your degree?
Saakshi: I cannot tell you how excited I was. It wasn’t like a normal day. I told my mother, “Mom, I am going to my own campus to become a citizen.” It was such a big deal in my life. My mom changed her life to bring me to the United States for a better opportunity and I couldn’t think of a better person to get naturalized with.

Saakshi and her mom pose with an employee of the Department of Homeland Security after taking the Oath of Allegiance.


Vanessa: Since you and your mother were naturalized at the same time, could you describe how you felt about that mother-daughter experience (or with other relatives)?
Saakshi: I have a younger sister who is 8 and was born here, so I don’t have any other siblings who were going to get naturalized, so it was just my mom and me. However, my sister was extremely excited for us. She saw how special the experience was and was even upset that she couldn’t do it, too. My mom has been my rock; she’s been with me the whole time, so it was amazing to do it with her. Meanwhile, now my sister is excited I can go and vote for her school’s budget so her class can win an ice cream social (laughs).

Vanessa: What are your professional or future goals as an “official” American?
Saakshi: (laughs) Right now I am studying Psychology and Neuroscience and I want to pursue medical school in the future.

Vanessa: Is there anything else you would like to share with Citizenship Rutgers or the immigrant community about your experience?
Saakshi: I would just say this is an amazing process to go through, but everyone needs to be willing to get the help. It is an extensive and expensive process, I don’t know how people with who struggle with money would pay for it, but I’d research for any assistance. I think that the main reason why people hesitate to apply is because it’s tedious, redundant and difficult to understand, so definitely do not be afraid to ask for help.

Vanessa: Thank you so much for your time, Saakshi! It’s been great chatting with you!

April 19, 2012 - no comments. Posted by in Citizenship Rutgers, News.

CITIZENSHIP RUTGERS featured on RU-TV’s WAKE UP RUTGERS

Anastasia Mann, director of the EPID, spoke at an interview about Citizenship Rutgers on April 19, 2012 on RU TV’s Wake Up Rutgers program.

Interview happens 12:45 minutes in.

Note: If the video does not work, please go to http://rutv.rutgers.edu/programming-channels/wake-rutgers and find the April 19, 2012 video.

March 17, 2012 - no comments. Posted by in Uncategorized.

Free Citizenship Application Assistance

Free Citizenship Application Assistance

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