Citizenship Mentoring

Citizenship Mentoring

Citizen Mentoring Report - May 2020 | Citizen Mentoring Update - April 2020 | Citizen Mentoring Report - April 2020 | Raising Costs to Become Citizen?

Citizenship Mentoring Overview

Citizenship Mentoring is non-partisan and aims to assist eligible permanent residents prepare for US Citizenship. Citizens participate in the democratic process by exercising their right to vote; only citizens can vote in federal, New York State, and local elections. The League of Women Voters believes in promoting the democratic process. PDF iconRead More...
Citizenship Mentoring does not have outside sources of income; these classes are solely funded by the Schenectady County LWV. Thanks to the Schenectady County Public Library system, we were able to obtain the use of a room at the Bornt Library, 948 State Street. This location is easily accessible for anyone interested in taking advantage of our classes which will focus on helping eligible residents prepare for the naturalization interview and test.

If you are interested in learning more about citizenship through naturalization, there are ample resources and information on the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website:. There is even a sample USCIS Naturalization and Test Video which explains the process.

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Citizenship Mentoring Group Report - May 2020

Unfortunately, we have had to suspend all of our activities -- citizenship preparation classes and all tutoring -- during the COVID-19 NYS Pause. In addition, US Citizenship and Immigration Services have closed their field offices and all naturalization ceremonies have been postponed. USCIS tentatively plans to re-open their offices on May 4, unless there is a further delay due to safety concerns.

We are hoping to resume one-on-one tutoring if it is safe to do so as soon as the Schenectady libraries re-open, but will most likely have to wait to begin classes until our summer session which is scheduled to start July 11. We've really missed working with our students. We've been in touch with many of them in the last weeks and they seem as anxious as we are to get back to work. Hopefully, we'll have our reunion soon!

The tutor training class was also postponed but will be rescheduled as soon as possible. Stay tuned!

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Citizenship Mentoring Group Update - April 2020

As many of you know, we have unfortunately had to suspend our activities during the COVID-19 pandemic. We want to keep you updated on the status of our program and new information from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services.

We are hoping to resume one-on-one tutoring as soon as it becomes safe to do so and when Schenectady libraries are able to re-open. Right now, the libraries are hoping to re-open after May 15, 2020. Citizenship preparation classes will begin on July 11 from 2:30-4:30 pm at the Phyllis Bornt Library. However, these dates may change according to NYS health safety guidelines. For further information, please contact us at for current information.

According to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services website, USCIS offices will begin to open after May 3. You will receive a letter with a new appointment date if you had an interview, naturalization ceremony, or any other appointment that was cancelled due to COVID-19 regulations. Currently, the processing time for citizenship applications at the Latham, NY field office is 10 ½ to 15 months. For up-to-date information, please contact

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Citizenship Mentoring Group Report - April 2020

Like everyone else, the Citizenship Mentoring Group has been greatly affected by COVID-19. Since Friday, March 13, we have had to cancel our Tutor Training class, our Spring citizenship classes, and even our one-on-one tutoring with students. At the same time, the local US Citizenship and Immigration Services field office in Latham has closed, and the March naturalization ceremony cancelled. Two of our students passed their interview but no date can be scheduled for their naturalization yet. Right now it's hard to know how soon we'll be able to reinstate our program, but we're a very optimistic group and hope that it will be sooner rather than later.

As always, if you have any questions about CMG, or are interested in becoming a tutor or helping out at one of the naturalization ceremonies, please contact

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Raising Costs to Become Citizen?

Becoming a U.S. citizen may get a lot more expensive, and groups are urging legal permanent residents to apply as soon as possible.

The U.S. Administration wants to increase the cost of citizenship applications by 83 percent for roughly 9 million immigrants eligible to become U.S. citizens.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services at the Department of Homeland Security officially announced the proposed price hike Thursday, saying that "current fees do not recover the full costs of providing adjudication and naturalization services."

The citizenship application fee would go from $640 to $1,170 and fees associated with legal permanent residency will go up 79 percent -- from $1,220 to $2,195.

Advocates like Angelica Salas, executive director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights, or CHIRLA, see the Administration's proposal as "a targeted and brazen attack especially on those who are poor and vulnerable" because it seeks to price out immigrants "of their rightful place in our communities and in America."

The proposed rule also outlines a series of other kinds of fee increases that impact immigration- related applications for asylum-seekers, Temporary Protected Status beneficiaries, DACA recipients and legal permanent residents.

DACA renewals would increase from $495 to $765, possibly giving Administration officials a tool to limit the program in case the Supreme Court allows the program to continue despite the administration's efforts to end it.

The Administration is also seeking to transfer $207.6 million of USCIS funding and divert it to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

By Nicole Acevedo,
staff reporter at NBC News Digital where she reports, writes and produces content for NBC Latino and

Nov. 14, 2019, 3:05 PM EST

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