Comm. Dale Holness hosts 2-day citizenship drive

There will be another free Citizenship Drive this weekend, set for May 14 and May 15, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Lauderhill Mall. Hosted by Broward County commissioner Dale Holness, the free event will particularly provide assistance to applicants filling out the N-400 US Citizenship application and other required documents for naturalization.

For this weekend’s events, expert legal volunteers will be on hand from immigration advocacy group, Florida New Americans, as well as the Caribbean Bar Association and the Jamaican-American Bar Association. Individuals who qualify for the program must be 18 years or older, have a permanent resident card for 5 years or be a spouse of a U.S. citizen and have a permanent green card for 3 years.

Supported by U.S. Congressman Alcee Hastings and Broward County commissioner Dale Holness, the renewed event was in response to the overwhelming turn-out at this year’s drives, the last one being held in April. Since this year alone, the drive reports that 700 applicants have submitted their completed paperwork through the Lauderhill program, with an additional 1500 expected to complete their application by the end of this month.

The drive also provides valuable financial support for those applying for citizenship. “Some 70 percent of those who were eligible obtained a fee waiver, which is a significant savings, since the application fee costs $680,” says Commissioner Holness. Applicants may receive a waiver if they receive public benefits such as Medicaid or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The regulations allow waivers to applicants who are single earning under $17,650 annually, from a family of two earning $23,900, and families of three and four earning $30,135 and $36,375 annually, respectively.

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