Workshop in Glenwood Springs to help lawful residents with citizenship |

Workshop in Glenwood Springs to help lawful residents with citizenship

Trina Ortega
Carbondale Correspondent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

Local immigration lawyers and related community organizations will be assisting lawful residents to apply for U.S. citizenship during the West Slope’s first-ever Citizenship Day workshop on Saturday, April 19.

Community Integration Initiative, La Tribuna newspaper, Congregations and Schools Empowered, in association with American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and Ya es Hora Ciudadania, are sponsoring a free workshop for green card holders to apply for U.S. citizenship.

The workshop takes place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Saint Stephen’s

Catholic Church, 1885 Blake Ave., Glenwood Springs.

Prior to attending, interested residents must call (303) 995-9662 to register and to

determine their eligibility for this event. Walk-ins will not be accepted.

Glenwood Springs immigration lawyer and AILA member Jennifer Smith has been

volunteering her time to help coordinate the event, which will help eligible residents

begin the process of naturalization.

The fees for the naturalization process increased last year, which prompted a

nationwide push to get as many residents naturalized as possible.

“What we [AILA] realized is that there is a huge need to help people approach and

understand naturalization,” Smith said.

About 40 states will be part of the Citizenship Day workshops. Participating Colorado

cities include Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins, Greeley, Pueblo, Durango and

Glenwood. Smith said 90 people are registered so far for the Glenwood site.

“This was a goal of mine when I first moved up here. I just thought this community

could really use that education, information, and access,” she said.

For the workshop, eligible residents will go through different “stations” to receive

assistance. Volunteers will help individuals fill out the government forms; attorneys

will review the applications; there will be a copying station; Digital Dimensions will be

taking passport photos; and community organizations will provide information about

support programs.

“The idea is that they’ll walk out the door with an application to mail,” Smith said,

noting that while the paperwork only begins the process of naturalization, it is often a

“big deterrent” because if not filed correctly or if “red flags” show up, the applicant can

be at great risk for deportation.

Smith noted that the registration phone number has been very busy but encouraged

interested persons to keep trying, and they’ll eventually reach the voice mail

message where they must leave a name and phone number. A local contact will then

phone back.

Because of the high number of participants, additional volunteers are needed. Call

Kris Spinden at (970) 987-1143 to sign up.

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