Over the past year, we have been deeply engaged in questions of immigration and citizenship as they relate to the wellbeing of our students, faculty, and staff. Uncertainties and concerns have led to heightened awareness of immigration and travel restrictions, and how that can affect our university community.
We have become aware that services for permanent residents who are eligible for naturalized citizenship are underutilized in our community. We hope to increase awareness and utilization of the citizenship naturalization process for our faculty, students, staff and their families, as well as our neighbors.
Starting in September, the Immigration Clinic at the USC Gould School of Law will offer free, on-campus Citizenship Orientation workshops. These workshops will provide information on the benefits of citizenship and eligibility, and answer questions. Following the workshop, individuals may choose one of three pathways to completing their naturalization application: free Citizenship Clinics to complete and file the naturalization application, with the help of legal experts at the USC Gould Immigration Clinic; free Individual Legal Assistance provided by the USC Gould Immigration Clinic for complex cases; or a free on-campus Naturalization Exam Preparation course organized through the USC Bovard College for employees who need to learn U.S. Civics and History and practice their English terminology for the naturalization interview and exam before completing and submitting their application.
In addition, the USC Credit Union will be providing no-fee, low-interest loans to make the cost of the naturalization application more accessible.
To find out which pathway to citizenship is right for you and your family, the USC Gould Immigration Clinic invites you to a Citizenship Orientation session. For a full calendar of events, please visit: http://gould.usc.edu/academics/experiential/clinics/immigration/citizenship/
For individuals and their families, the benefits of citizenship include increased economic stability, community engagement, and higher wages over time. As we strengthen the economic and civic engagement of USC staff, faculty, students and their families, as well as our neighbors, the USC community will also benefit from the greater participation, security, and wellbeing of our members.
The university has taken many steps to support our community during these uncertain times. This includes: funding the USC Gould Immigration Clinic so they may offer free legal services to the campus community, supporting the scholarly activities of the USC Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration, establishing a Provost’s Advisory Task Force on Immigration to explore how we can best support our community, and establishing a deans’ steering committee to create a plan for USC to assume national academic leadership on the topic of immigration policy and immigrant integration. The provost has appointed Vanessa Gomez Brake, associate dean of religious life, as a point of contact to coordinate and implement the efforts across campus that support immigrant and international students.
We will continue to explore other efforts to aid our community.
For more information, please contact USC Gould Immigration Clinic (213) 821-9627; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://gould.usc.edu/academics/experiential/clinics/immigration/citizenship/