Church Groups Join Immigrants in a Big Push for Citizenship

Amalia Rojas is in her 93rd winter. But that’s not too late for this Mexican immigrant to become a U.S. citizen.So with her green card on the table, next to her nutrition shake, and rebozo over her head on a recent freezing cold afternoon, she filled out government forms.Rojas is part of an unusual surge of immigrants around the U.S. who are making a sudden push to become U.S. citizens. In each case, these applicants have already been vetted and qualified for legal permanent residency.There are about 250,000 immigrants in Dallas-Fort Worth region who have green cards and have waited the generally required five years to apply for naturalization, according to the Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration at the University of Southern California. Nationwide, there are 8.8 million who are eligible to become U.S. citizens but haven’t done it yet, says the Chicago-based National Partnership for New Americans.In North Texas, Dallas Area Interfaith, a coalition of largely church-based groups, is leading a search for potential citizens in the pews. Their allies are the Roman Catholic priests and nuns who work in area parishes.  Continue reading...

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