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June 2013

Issue No. 27


What's Happening at Citizenship Now! 

Sanya Paul

Volunteer of the Month

Sanya Paul has been a Citizenship Now! Volunteer Corps member since 2009. Originally from Kingston, Jamaica, Sanya's experiences as an immigrant have made her passionate about coming to events to help others. She states: "I want to help out in any way I can, so that someone else can achieve [the American Dream]." Two years ago Sanya and her son became U.S. citizens. 
Read more about Sanya and other Citizenship Now! volunteers!

       Stina Rosenquist  

A Greeting from our New Volunteer Coordinator,
Stina Rosenquist

"Hi! My name is Stina Rosenquist and I am the new Volunteer Engagement Coordinator for Citizenship Now! I have yet to meet all of you in person, so I wanted to take this chance to introduce myself. I was drawn to Citizenship Now! because of my interest in immigration and my past experiences as a volunteer and I am so excited to be part of such an inspiring organization.  Our volunteer program is what makes Citizenship Now! so unique and so strong. I hope to make the program even better for all of you, by expanding our trainings and diversifying the types of responsibilities our volunteers take on. However, in order to make our Corps the best it can be, I am going to need your help! Please contact me with questions, concerns, feedback or just to say hi! You can reach me at or at (646) 344-7339."       

June 2013 Event
Recent Events        
CUNY Citizenship Now! recently held three Citizenship Application Assistance Events in Brooklyn and Queens. On May 18th in Brooklyn, we held a NYCitizenship in Schools event with MOIA and CIti Community Development where we assisted 96 participants.  On June 8th we held an event in Jamaica, Queens, where 37 volunteers assisted 81 New Yorkers determining their eligibility for U.S. citizenship.  Council Member Ruben Wills, who sponsored the event,  gave credit to all the volunteers and CUNY Citizenship Now! staff for making the event happen. The next weekend, on June 15th, we held another NYCitizenship event in Queens.  At that event we assisted 142 participants in determining their eligibility with 98 walking out with a completed application.  Read More  



Unpacking the Legal Briefcase 




"These are a way of having your criminal record wiped clean. However, it does not work for (USCIS) for drug crimes, except for first offense, simple possession convictions where the person has never received an expungement before" according to A Guide for Immigration Advocates, 16th Edition, Volume 2 (by the Immigrant Legal Resource Center).
Click here to for more information.


Question mark


Participate in Our Poll  



You are working the application assistance station at a Saturday event. You are helping a participant who is NOT exempt from the English literacy requirements for naturalization. This means that the participant must demonstrate a basic understanding of how to read, write, and understand English in order to be granted naturalization.  How will you proceed with this participant?  


Click here to answer

Volunteer Corner


 The Volunteer Corner


Mark Your Calendars


June 29th, 2013

Citizenship Now! Application
Assistance Event in Brooklyn (Postponed)  

July 10th, 2013

Citizenship Now! Application
Assistance Training (Tentative)

July 13th, 2013

Citizenship Now! Application
Assistance Event in Brooklyn
Register Now!

July 17th, 2013

Citizenship Now! Fee Waiver Application
Assistance Training (Tentative)



  Bulletin Board


The latest issue of our CUNY/NYC
Citizenship Now! Volunteer Corps Guide
 is out.  Very important policy
changes have been made based on the
feedback you have provided us over the past
year through our Suggestion Box, and
during our events.  We hope that with a new
guide and with the leadership of our new
Volunteer Coordinator, Stina Rosenquist we
continue to improve your experience as
volunteers, as well as the quality of services
we provide to the community.  With
immigration reform in the horizon, we want
to be stronger to help as many immigrants
as we can.  Please read the Guide,
familiarize yourself with the new policies and
continue to give us your feedback. Thanks!



  Fun and Stuff 




Become a Citizenship Now! Contributor 

This month's immigration

Q. My half-sister, a U.S. citizen, petitioned for me in
June 2003. In 2010 my mother received a letter from
the USCIS requesting additional documents which
sent in. Meanwhile, my sister lost her home, job, and
car and it took a toll on her mentally. My family
members say she has schizophrenia and I know she
is seeing a doctor for depression. She stopped
taking her medicine and her condition has worsened.
She refuses to speak with me or her other siblings.
My mother called her to find out if she heard anything
from the immigration office and she responded by
saying it was denied. When we requested a copy of
that letter she ended the call...     

-Cindy B.      

 Read the full question and answer 



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Member Network

Managing Editor

A. Sofia Carreno


Legal Editor

Allan Wernick, Esq.



Gabriel Espinal 

This Month's Newsletter and
Member Network Contributors

Tom Shea, Esq.
Maggie Kawinksi, Esq.
Stina Rosenquist
Mayara Guimaraes

Vikramjit Gill

David Sturniolo