Saturday, July 7, 2007
In The Name of All things Sacred. Make the treason STOP.
Immigrants become citizens
Posted: Friday, Jul 6th, 2007
BY: ROGER SIDEMAN [suspected kike]
Guadalupe Flores waves an American flag Thursday after taking an oath during an American citizenship ceremony for 180 people in Castroville.
CASTROVILLE — More than 180 new Americans were sworn in Thursday in a citizenship ceremony, part of a surge in the number of legal immigrants seeking to become U.S. citizens.
Two factors are driving the nationwide surge this year, said Doug Keegan, an immigration attorney and program director for the Immigration Project in Watsonville: imminent increases in fees to process naturalization applications and new feelings of insecurity among immigrants.
“Everyone’s expecting a big rush,” he said. “We’re seeing three to four times the normal number of applications.”
There’s an uneasiness even among legal immigrants, especially Latinos, since federal immigration officers arrested 107 people in September for immigration violations in Watsonville, Santa Cruz and Hollister, Keegan said. In a nationwide sweep, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has made more than 20,000 arrests since last year.
For many legal immigrants, Keegan said, anxiety about their futures in the United States turned into action after an announcement on Jan. 31 by Citizenship and Immigration Services that it would increase application fees.
Under the new fees, which take effect on July 30, it will cost $675 to become a naturalized citizen, up from $400.
“Most immigrant families in the Pajaro Valley don’t have the ability to shell out $700 for something whose (immediate) benefit is more psychological,” Keegan said.
In a typical year, Keegan’s office sees 200 applications. So far this year, roughly 350 people, more than triple the normal amount, have already applied.
After a tedious documentation process of months, and in some cases, years, people from 27 countries took their oaths together Thursday in front of the Castroville library.
Monterey County Supervisor Lou Calcagno, the son of Italian immigrants, said during his remarks that the ceremony was a milestone, marking the first major event held at the new library, which opened its doors in September.
Newly minted American citizen Maribel Cuervo left Mexico City nearly 19 years ago, wanted to become a citizen, but simply procrastinated, she said. Cuervo, a Watsonville resident, had already found a good job as a health educator with a local nonprofit and she volunteered on the county arts commission.
“I think it’s important to contribute to the community in some way, said Cuervo, 43, over a hot dog lunch.
As her hyphenated name suggests, Danguole Berulyte-McHargue, another new citizen, is straddling the line between two cultures: the one belonging at first to her U.S.-born husband, and that of her native Lithuania.
“I decided to become a citizen in order to have a full life". [ and steal the white man's future -ed]