Immigrants Can Access New Initiative for Education and Citizenship Resources

By July 18, 2011News & Press

A new U.S. initiative helps immigrants learn about free citizenship education resources. The Citizenship Public Education and Awareness Initiative is for lawful permanent residents and immigrant-based organizations. An estimated 7.9 million LPRs can apply for naturalization, reports the Department of Homeland Security.

Individuals looking to become a U.S. citizen must pass a civics and English test. The civics exam encompasses questions regarding the American government and history as well as geography, holidays and symbols. The English exam covers reading, writing and oral questions. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services initiative plans to connect individuals with local groups and educational resources to prepare them for successful citizenship.

In addition to the exams, individuals must meet the following requirements:
• Have good moral character
• Live in the U.S. continuously for five years as a lawful permanent resident before filing Form N-400 and be physically present for a minimum of 30 months out of the five years
• Live in the state or USCIS district that has jurisdiction over your residence for at least three months before filing Form N-400
• Have a green card for five years
• Be 18 years old

In Houston, Texas the Harris County Department of Education has free classes that instruct students on citizenship rights and responsibilities, the naturalization process, and training for the exams. They also offer English as a second language courses for varying levels of proficiency. Harris County has three main learning centers and many satellite locations via 15 public schools.

“It’s a feeling of empowerment,” said teacher Rosie Siller, who has taught English and civics through the HCDE for 17 years. “No one can take that education away from you.”

Many people do not know that part of the education teaches about an American citizen’s rights and responsibilities. Rights include the freedom to express oneself and worship, the right to vote, apply for federal employment, run for elected office, and the right to a fair jury trial. Responsibilities include defending the Constitution and country, participating in the democratic process and local community, obeying laws, respecting others, paying taxes, serving on a jury, and the freedom to pursue life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Once a person is naturalized, their children under age 18 who are not married can get citizenship. Via Form N-600, Application for Certificate of Citizenship, the children can automatically become U.S. citizens.

Houston immigration attorney Annie Banerjee helps individuals and families get access to citizenship resources and successfully accomplish their naturalization goals. As an immigrant herself, she is a great ally for those looking to get citizenship and is dedicated to giving each client individualized attention and the utmost quality. The Law Offices of Annie Banerjee has more than 10 years of immigration law experience throughout Texas and the United States. She is active with the State Bar of Texas, American Immigration Lawyers Association, American Bar Association, and the Indian Chamber of Commerce in Greater Houston.

A. Banerjee is a Houston immigration lawyer in Texas. Before selecting an immigration lawyer in Houston Texas, contact the Law Offices of Annie Banerjee by visiting their information filled web site at https://www.visatous.com.