Thursday, January 29, 2015

Fwd: January 2015 CWS Newsletter

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "CWS Lancaster" <>
Date: Jan 29, 2015 7:22 PM
Subject: January 2015 CWS Newsletter
To: "" <>

Story of Citizenship

Celso Mesias, originally a Peruvian national, became a proud U.S. citizen the 22nd of December 2014 after being a Lawful Permanent Resident since 1999.

Before coming to CWS for assistance with submitting his naturalization application, Celso sought the help of a lawyer who took his money and did not properly submit the necessary paperwork. He was scammed. Celso waited years before considering applying for citizenship again because he was afraid there might be legal consequences from the lawyer's misaction.

While Celso waited to fulfill his dream of becoming an American citizen, he became involved in the Lancaster community. He has met several Congressmen and has spent time working for one of the Spanish Civic Associations of the county. Then, this past fall, Celso contacted the CWS Immigration Legal Services Program.

Audrey Lopez, CWS Lancaster's Citizenship and Integration Paralegal, was fortunate to be the one to tell Celso that he was eligible for citizenship and could apply. 

"I will never forget calling him to confirm his oath ceremony and hearing his cries of joy in response to the good news" recalls Audrey. 

Although there were obstacles along the way, Celso's oath was finally administered in Philadelphia right before Christmas. His dream came true, bit it goes even farther. Obtaining U.S. citizenship will also allow his daughter to obtain Legal Permanent Resident status. In the end, citizenship has not only opened doors for him but also for those he loves the most.

Get Involved

Unfortunately, many immigrants experience scams similar to Celso. We can all be advocates in our community for those seeking legal immigration advice. Here are some ways that you can advocate on behalf of your neighbors.

1. If you know of someone who needs legal counsel in regards to immigration concerns, take the time to make sure they are not scammed.

Consultation appoinments can be made with the CWS Lancaster Immigration Legal Services Program by calling (717)-358-9728. Please leave a message!

Call (703)-305-0470 to verify that your representative is accredited or if your attorney has been barred from practicing.

2. Follow Celso's example and speak to your representative. Call 1-866-940-2439 to urge your representative to take steps towards fixing our broken immigration system in a way that is humane and just. 

3. Educate yourself about Administrative Relief and what it may mean for you and your neighbors. Check out the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services webpage for more information regarding immigration. 

Subscribe to our NEW Church Newsletter

Click Here to subscribe for our new CWS Lancaster Church Newsletter!

Are you a pastor, small group leader, or devoted congregant who likes to stay up-to-date of local needs? Please join our new Church Newsletter where Christine Baer, Congregational Resource Developer, will keep you informed of local stories, highlights, and volunteer/donation needs.

Volunteer and Internship Opportunities

Click Here to learn more about volunteering with CWS Lancaster.

Click Here to learn more about interning with CWS Lancaster.

CWS Lancaster is Hiring

Are you passionate about helping others? Would you like to work in a vibrant and diverse office? Apply to work with CWS Lancaster!

Click Here to view open positions.

Listen to local refugee stories

Footsteps is a podcast program of refugee people with amazing stories of hope and resilience.

Listen Here.

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CWS Lancaster
Immigration and Refugee Program
308 East King Street
Lancaster, PA 17602

Media contacts or other information:
Sheila Mastropietro, Director CWS Lancaster,  •  •  donate now
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