|September 21, 2015 • VOL. 53, NO. 16 • Oakland, CA|
| Become a citizen — or help
someone else become one
The Cathedral of Christ the Light will host its first-ever Free Citizenship Application and Fee Waiver Assistance Day on Oct. 17. One thousand people are expected at the event, hosted by the Diocese of Oakland and Catholic Charities of the East Bay.
"We haven't had a large event in the East Bay," he said. "We wanted to host it at a place that visually has great impact. This gives the diocese the opportunity to let the community know we're there for them."
The ambitious effort will require not only the resources of the immigration legal services program of Catholic Charities —which employs six attorneys at its sites in Oakland, Richmond and Concord — as well as its half-dozen partners in the East Bay Naturalization Collaborative.
To help people fill out the 21-page application, as well as help low-income people who qualify for fee waivers fill out additional paperwork, will require many hands.
The effort has enlisted the assistance of the deacon community, but with the need so great, additional volunteers will be needed to assist with greeting, screening, running, form filling, document preparation, and legal consultation.
Anyone interested in volunteering at the event can contact Jason Sullivan-Halpern at firstname.lastname@example.org or 510-768-3166 to register.
In the East Bay, there are an estimated 170,000 permanent legal residents who could be eligible for naturalization, Martinez said. Cost could be a factor that keeps them from applying for citizenship, Martinez said. The application alone is $680 per person.
Steve Mullin, parish outreach manager for Catholic Charities, said the citizenship event at the cathedral "comes out of Bishop Barber's initiative of welcoming and helping our neighbor."
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