IRC Seniors Visit USCIS Office
On Monday, July 12th, twenty-two excited seniors from the IRC Immigration Department's Golden Door citizenship class visited the USCIS office in downtown San Diego. With an average age of 70, these seniors from China, Vietnam, and Kyrgyzstan have been diligently studying English and US history 3 days a week so that they can become American citizens. The class is made possible by a USCIS grant the IRC received last September aimed at helping seniors naturalize. When asked why she wants to become a US citizen, Xianmin Wu, like many of her classmates, says, "To live in a free country."
The seniors were given a tour of the federal building by Officer Hernandez, who explained the citizenship application process and answered questions. She conducted a mock interview with the class teacher, Rosaelena Pilco, and the students were so engaged in the interview process that they all nodded “Yes” in agreement to Ms. Pilco’s answers and whispered their own responses under their breath. The tour ended after Officer Hernandez took everyone to see the interview room, where the actual citizenship interviews would take place.
This opportunity to visit the USCIS office has helped ease the anxiety of many of the seniors, and will better prepare them when they take their citizenship exams. The IRC is grateful to be able to collaborate so closely with the USCIS in San Diego.
For more information about free citizenship services for seniors, contact Ayano Ogura at 619-641-7510 Ext 294, or email Ayano.Ogura@theirc.org.
Additional pictures can be viewed here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/45694966@N04/sets/72157624369301053/