April 28, 2016

Fernando Lopez Duran
Coyote Student News @ CSN

Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada, a non-profit law firm, partnered with College of Southern Nevada to present information on pathways to citizenship during a free immigration class held on campus.

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Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada, a non-profit law firm, partnered with College of Southern Nevada to present information on pathways to citizenship during a free immigration class held on campus.

Luis Trujillo, CSN student, said he attended the class to learn more about his current immigration status and to inquire about the possibility of adjusting his brother’s status who suffers from a disability.

“We had been told that you can request [an adjustment of status],” Trujillo said. “I wanted to ask one-on-one if that’s true or not before we get the legal process started.”

According to the most recent data from U.S. Department of Homeland Security approximately 653,000 people became U.S. citizens in 2014, a 16 percent drop from 2013.

Many attendees of the class were not fully aware of all the possible ways they could become citizens and not everyone qualified for the paths that were discussed.

Other topics included two important executive orders.

President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which offers temporary deportation relief to people brought into the country as children, is still in effect; however, there is a proposal to expand this program to lift the age limit of 31 but the DACA expansion is currently stalled in the Supreme Court due to a lawsuit by 26 states.

Claudia Sandoval, Las Vegas resident, is a beneficiary of Obama’s original DACA program. She decided to attend the class with her friends to learn more about citizenship options.

Additionally the new Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents program, protecting parents of U.S. citizens and permanent residents from deportation, is also stalled in the same lawsuit.

Both of these executive orders would provide social-security numbers and work permits to those who qualify.

ImmigrationCoverGabrielle Jones, deputy directing attorney at Legal Aid Center, conducted the immigration class and offered free consultations to people interested in time with an attorney. Jones mentioned that Legal Aid is worried about scam artists taking advantage of people who seek immigration advice. She warned about notary services—which are not allowed to give legal advice but can fill out paperwork—that overcharge and overpromise results. She wanted to ensure CSN students, their families and local community got legitimate information.

“This is the first class I have ever attended and it does help with any questions or doubts you might have,” Sandoval said.

The immigration class is regularly presented at Legal Aid’s main office located at 725 E. Charleston Blvd. For more information on the organization and its services visit www.lacsn.org.