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April 10th : Immigrant Rights Rally : Seattle :11:00am

Immigration Reform Rally: We Can’t Afford to Wait!
April 10, 2010 | Gates Open at 11 a.m. | Program Noon
Occidental Park, Seattle

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS
Confirmed Speakers
Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Washington
Dow Constantine, King County Executive
Pramila Jayapal, Executive Director, OneAmerica
Cecile Hansen, Duwamish Tribal Chair
Mike Gempler, Washington Growers’ Association
Carlos Padilla, DREAM Act student and activist

Entertainment
Master Mak Fung Kung Fu Club & Lion Dance Group
Children’s Choir, led by Kent Stevenson

Emcees
Jorge Baron, Executive Director, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project
Lua Pritchard, Chair, Asian Pacific Island Coalition (APIC) Pierce County

Even after over two hundred thousand people marched in Washington, D.C. to convince Congress and the White House to take action, communities across the country will be participating in a national day of action on April 10th to ensure our representatives know we want comprehensive immigration reform. The Washington Immigration Reform Coalition (WIRC) For America, an alliance of over 50 organizations, faith groups, community groups and labor unions, is organizing around one purpose – to achieve comprehensive immigration reform – and has been working to ensure that Washington’s Congressional delegation will support and lead on the issue.

http://www.weareoneamerica.org/april10

 
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Posted by on April 3, 2010 in Immigrant Rights

 

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Seattle’s Ellis Island

I just heard this interesting KUOW 94.5 report on the sad history of immigration detention in the region. The report talks about the former Seattle Immigrant Detention Center near the International District on Airport Way. The Center closed down in 1999 and has been replaced by the much larger Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma.

CLICK HERE TO READ or LISTEN

 
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Posted by on March 6, 2010 in Immigrant Rights

 

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How Can I Become A Citizen?

Naturalization ceremony. White House photo by Eric Draper

For many immigrants, the final step in the quest for the American Dream is to become an American citizen.

Benefits of Being a United States Citizen

Citizens have the right to vote, thus help to strengthen our democracy and lobby for their interests. Citizens can obtain a United States Passport, making travel much easier as many countries do not require visas for United States citizens. Citizens can never be deported nor have any need to deal with the bureaucracy of the USCIS. Citizens can sponsor their foreign spouses, children and parents for lawful permanent residency without having to wait for a visa to become available.

United States Citizens Have Responsibilities

United States citizens must swear allegiance to the United States and may be required to serve in the armed forces. United States citizens must obey United States laws both in and out of the United States.

Becoming a United States Citizen

Individuals born in the United States and certain individuals born to or adopted by U.S. citizens outside of the United States become American citizens automatically. Immigrants to the U.S. have the opportunity to apply for citizenship through a process called Naturalization (USCIS Form N-400). United States citizenship does not prohibit dual citizenship. One can be both a citizen of Canada and a citizen of the United States. Only under very extreme circumstances can an individual be stripped of his or her citizenship.

Who Can Naturalize?

Occasionally, I get calls from individuals who ask about applying for citizenship before they are even eligible. Generally, only individuals who have been a lawful permanent resident for 5 years can apply to naturalize. However, if you received your lawful permanent residence because you are married to a U.S. citizen, then you will be eligible to apply to naturalize after only 3 years. You must also have been physically present in the United States for those years, have good moral character and know basic English and U.S. Civics ( there are some exceptions to the English language and civics knowledge requirement for the elderly and disabled).

While physical presence and good moral character sound like simple requirements, they often become problematic. Frequent or long trips abroad may affect your eligibility. Petty crimes or certain character traits may also affect your eligibility. Even if you meet these requirements, however, you may still not be eligible to naturalize if you have ever committed a crime, even if you weren’t convicted. It is important to consult with a licensed immigration attorney to find out whether or not you are eligible to naturalize as the simple act of applying for citizenship when one is not eligible may lead to deportation proceedings if it is found that conditions of your permanent resident status has been violated.

If you live in or near Seattle, Washington or Phoenix, Arizona and are interested in becoming a United States citizen you may schedule a consultation with OLIVIE LAW at (206) 724-1940 or email olivielaw@ymail.com

 
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Posted by on March 3, 2010 in Immigration Law

 

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