HIAS Chicago is Holding Next Citizenship Workshop on June 8
HIAS Chicago will be holding its next New Americans Initiative Citizenship Workshop on Saturday, June 8, 2013, at St. Ansgar Church in Hanover Park from 9:00am-12:00pm. Please call HIAS Chicago at 312-357-4666 to find out if you qualify.
Please view our calendar to see upcoming workshops.
Senate CIR Bill: Highlights of Proposed Legislation
On April 17th, the Senate introduced legislation that would create a pathway to citizenship for many of the undocumented people living in the U.S. It would also overhaul the family-based immigration system and impose a number of enforcement measures. Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) has provided summary highlights of the bill. Click here to read more.
HIAS Chicago Welcomes New Director, Jodi Doane, and Bids Farewell to Suzanne Franklin
HIAS Chicago is pleased to announce that, following a comprehensive search, Jodi Doane has been selected as the new Director for the agency. Jodi comes to HIAS Chicago with a wide array of skills and years of experience in management, communication and governmental affairs, board development and fundraising in the non-profit world. We are confident that Jodi’s presence will enhance the work of HIAS Chicago and will maximize the agency’s position for success now and into the future.
Suzanne Franklin, the outgoing Director, has served in her position with HIAS Chicago for 23 years. Her dedication to the agency, to her work with immigrants and refugees from across the world and to the Jewish community has been a gift that we all treasure. We wish Suzanne a wonderful encore as she pursues new endeavors.
The Board and Staff of HIAS Chicago
Priced Out of Citizenship
By Rahm Emanuel and Luis V. Gutierrez
As Congress debates creating a path to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants, it must at the same time remove one of the biggest obstacles on that path: the cost of applying for citizenship.
Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), part of the Department of Homeland Security, charges $680 (including a mandatory $85 “biometric fee” to cover fingerprinting) to apply for naturalization. This steep fee, which can amount to more than two weeks’ wages for some immigrants, is so high that it effectively denies legal permanent residents a chance to become citizens. Read more...
Obama Signs Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)
Published: March 7, 2013 at 3:28pm
WASHINGTON, March 7 (UPI) -- President Obama, as victims and advocates watched and cheered, signed into law Thursday the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. Read more...
Nurturing Naturalization: Could Lowering the Fee Help?
In this recently published report, Manuel Pastor and three of his colleagues point out that there are 8.5 million lawful permanent residents (green-card holders) who are eligible to apply for citizenship and have not done so. While this can reflect personal choice, their report argues that the fees associated with applying for citizenship is one of the greatest barriers.
Their report also argues that for a nation of immigrants, encouraging naturalization and full participation in civic and economic life would seem to be one of those goals on which many Americans can agree. And to the extent that public policy makers think that the civic and economic benefits of citizenship should be realized for both immigrants and the country, a consideration of lowering the fee, either through having Congress backfill the potential funding gap or by allowing United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to restructure the relative fee structure, may be in order. Read more...
Click here to read the full report.
The HIAS Chicago Scholarship Application period has ended
Awards will be presented at the HIAS Chicago annual meeting on Thursday, June 27, 2013.
Please click here to view our scholarship pages for additional information.
Department of Homeland Security Announces Provisional Stateside Waiver of Inadmissibility
National Immigration Law Center, January 2013
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued a new rule that will allow certain people who have U.S. citizen family members, but who must leave the U.S. as part of the process of becoming eligible for lawful permanent residence, to complete a critical part of the application process before they leave the U.S. The new process lowers the risk that such people will be denied reentry into the U.S. and reduces the time they spend abroad apart from their families. DHS issued the new rule on January 3, 2013. The change in process will take effect March 4, 2013. Read more...
Click here to view National Immigration Law Center's full summary.
USCIS Proposes New N-400 Application for Citizenship Form
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has revised the N-400 Application for Naturalization and has put it in the Federal Register for a public comment period that ends February 19, 2013.
The proposed N-400 application consists of 17 sections (there are 14 sections in the current N-400 application), and the formatting has been changed. The questions on the current application are also included in the proposed application, but a number of questions have been added, which mostly relate to the inadmissibility grounds that were added by the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004. These questions will also be included in the personal background interview with a USCIS officer.
Please note that the proposed application will likely be revised again after the public comment period closes in mid-February, so it is expected that a final revised N-400 application will not go into effect for a few months.
Please check back for updated information. You may also find more information at www.citizenshipnews.us.
New Driver’s License Law
On January 8, 2013, the Illinois House of Representatives passed bill SB 957 which allows the Secretary of State to issue Temporary Valid Driver’s Licenses (TVDLs) to undocumented immigrants. Read more...
The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) has published a report further explaining TVDLs. Click here to view the report.
Top Five Reasons Why Citizenship Matters
The organization, American Progress, has published a report detailing the top five reasons why citizenship matters as immigration reform comes before the Obama administration and Congress. They argue that “the fight over immigration reform will revolve not simply around the question of what to do with the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the country, but how to resolve their status.” Read more...
Click here to read the full report.
Share Your Story
Your personal story is HIAS Chicago's history. HIAS Chicago is collecting and preserving the poignant stories of your family’s immigration. Help make your story a chapter in HIAS Chicago's history as we celebrate our 100th Anniversary. Please visit our Share Your Story page to share your own with us.
And be sure to visit our Your HIAS Chicago Stories page to read about others' histories.