Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Santa Rosa is hosting a low-cost immigration services event on Dec. 2 in Eureka and 3 in Fortuna. They are collaborating with the Humboldt Area Foundation and the Department of Social Services to cover the cost of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services [USCIS] services.
The services being offered are citizenship, naturalization, DACA, green card renewal, family based petitions and visas. All services will only cost attendees a $10 postage fee, waving the initial costs that typically run in the thousands.
The Eureka event will take place on Dec. 2 from 2 p.m to 7 p.m. at the Jefferson Community Center on 1000 B Street. The Fortuna event will be the following day from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Rohner Rec Hall on 5 Park Street.
The services are available to anyone of any age who meets the requirements. Those traveling from Del Norte and Trinity county are eligible to receive a $100 gas card to cover traveling expenses at the events.
Dina Lopez is the Immigration Director at Catholic Charities and she has been working there for nine years. She encourages people to take advantage of this offer.
“As an immigrant, I do know what it takes to obtain a legal status, when the possibility exists,” Lopez said. “There is a significant need of legal services from the immigration communities across the US. I feel a lot of satisfaction to help my community.”
Before arriving at the event, contact Catholic Charities to know which documents need to be brought. Their phone number is 707-578-6000. They also have a registration form on their website at www.srcharities.org, under upcoming events.
Individuals will need to gather up past histories of residences, schools, jobs, depositions, names of family members and other relevant information needed for this process.
Once Catholic Charities has attendees’ paperwork, they will process it in their Santa Rosa office and send the documents to USCIS. Due to the high volume of immigration services requests, the process could take anywhere from one month to years once documents have been received by the USCIS.
Teresa Marcelino Bermudez is the Immigration Education Supervisor and the DOJ Accredited Immigration Representative. She has worked there for six years and is inspired by their mission to serve those vulnerable, regardless of culture and beliefs.
“I am aware of the need for reliable and affordable legal immigration services and know how important this resource is,” said Bermudez.
Catholic Charities also provides help to prepare for citizenship tests. Classes are offered in Spanish and English. The organization comes to Humboldt about twice a year, last time they were able to assist 85 people.
For more information, go to srcharities.org or call their Immigration Office at (707) 578-6000.