Wednesday, June 30, 2010

US Senators Question Supreme Court Nominee Elena Kagan


U.S. Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan faced questioning Tuesday on the second day of her confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Kagan is a former dean of the Harvard University Law School and the current U.S. Solicitor General, a post that represents the U.S. government before the Supreme Court. VOA's Carolyn Presutti has more.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

LONG MAY SHE WAVE!


What do teachers do when school is out? Teachers go to school! This week, I am attending the Adobe Multimedia Summer Institute at the Krause Center of Innovation, Foothill College to learn how to produce Citizenship videos. Today, we are learning about PhotoShop. Here is a quick jpg that I just made--LONG MAY SHE WAVE!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Feds propose hike in cost of green cards, visas

Feds propose hike in cost of green cards, visas Matt O'Brien, Contra Costa Times

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is proposing increases in immigration document fees:
  • Application for green card: $985 (from $930)
  • Application to replace green card: $365 (from $290)
  • Application to be temporary resident: $1,130 (from $710)
  • Application for work permit: $380 (from $340)
  • Petition for alien relative: $420 (from $355)
  • Immigrant visa: $165 (from $0; immigrants already pay visa fees to State Department)
  • Biometric/fingerprinting: $85 (from $80)
  • Civil surgeon designation: $615 (from $0)
  • regional center for immigrant investors: $6,230 (from $0)
  • N-400 Naturalization (citizenship): $595 (no change)


Go to www.regulations.gov or www.uscis.gov to learn how to comment on the proposals.
Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Where do I send my N-400?


Recently I was asked about the proper address for the N-400. Why are there two addresses for each region?

Most Express Mail or Courier companies (ie FedEX, UPS, DHL, etc) will not deliver to a PO Box. If an applicant wants to send their N-400 via Express Mail, USCIS provides a street address for each region.

If an applicant send his/her N-400 via US mail (USPS), they must add extra postage because the package weighs more than an ounce**. Put in the large envelope:

  1. the N-400
  2. 2 passport-sized photos
  3. a copy of the front and back of the legal Permanent Resident Card
  4. plus a check for $675*

Some people also add a return receipt and insurance.

Before you put the N-400 in the envelope, MAKE TWO COPIES OF YOUR N-400 (the first for back-up, the second for practice. TAKE THE SSN OFF THE PRACTICE COPY).

WEST: If you reside in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Territory of Guam, or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, send your application to the USCIS Phoenix Lockbox Facility at the following address:

Regular Mail: If you are sending your N-400 via US Post Office (USPS), send your N-400 to:

  • USCIS
  • P.O. Box 21251
  • Phoenix, AZ 85036

Express Mail: If you are using an Express Mail or Courier companies (ie FedEX, UPS, DHL, etc) , send your N-400 to:

  • USCIS
  • Attn: N-400
  • 1820 E. Skyharbor Circle S
  • Suite 100
  • Phoenix, AZ 85034

EAST: If you reside in Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands, send your application to the USCIS Dallas Lockbox Facility at the following address:

Regular Mail: If you are sending your N-400 via US Post Office (USPS), send your N-400 to:

  • USCIS
  • P.O. 660060
  • Dallas, TX 75266

Express Mail: If you are using an Express Mail or Courier companies (ie FedEX, UPS, DHL, etc) , send your N-400 to:

  • USCIS
  • Attn: N-400
  • 2501 S State Hwy 121
  • Business Suite 400
  • Lewisville, TX 75067

MILITARY: N-400 Applications from Current or Former Members of the Military, Spouses of Current Members of the Military, and Close Relatives of Deceased Members of the Military

Regular Mail: If you are sending your N-400 via US Post Office (USPS), send your N-400 to:

  • Nebraska Service Center
  • P.O. Box 87426
  • Lincoln, NE 68501-7426

Express Mail: If you are using an Express Mail or Courier companies (ie FedEX, UPS, DHL, etc) , send your N-400 to:

  • Nebraska Service Center
  • 850 S. Street
  • Lincoln, NE 68508

* Write the check for $675 ($595 plus a biometrics fee of $80). Applicants 75 years of age or older are not charged a biometric fee; their fee total is $595. No fee is required for military applicants filing under Section 328 and 329 of the INA.

**Can a couple or family send their N-400 and photos together? Yes, but write separate checks with the applicant's Legal Resident Number on the Memo Line.

Friday, June 25, 2010

West Wing Week: 06/25/10 or "Mailbag Day"



WH.gov: West Wing Week: 06/25/10 or "Mailbag Day"

Mailbag Day! We decided to make episode thirteen of West Wing Week a chance to respond to some of your letters and emails. This week, find out if the White House composts, learn which direction the eagle on the Presidential seal faces, and examine the process by which the flag flying over the White House is lowered to half-staff.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Iowa Agencies End Refugee Resettlement Programs



VOAVideo: Iowa Agencies End Refugee Resettlement Programs

Last year, approximately 75,000 refugees resettled in the United States. The U.S. is one of the leading countries providing a new home to those fleeing war, poverty and conflict. In 2009, the midwestern state of Iowa welcomed 908 of those refugees. Their arrival comes at a time when jobs are less available nationwide as a result of a weak economy. Now, two of the three Iowa agencies resettling refugees plan to end their programs. VOA's Kane Farabaugh has more.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Amazing journey for America's newest citizen

American Citizen Miguel Sernas

An amazing journey by Joe Rodriguez, SJ Mercury

He can't hear, talk or write, but a former illegal immigrant becomes an American after passing a unique citizenship test. Is sign-language school next? (photos gallery)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

White House Highlights Stimulus Job Creation



VOAVideo: White House Highlights Stimulus Job Creation

VOAvideo — June 21, 2010 — U.S. President Barack Obama visited Columbus, Ohio Friday to mark the groundbreaking on the 10,000th road project funded by the American Recovery Act. The president's visit is part of the administration's efforts to shine a spotlight on the impact of the approximately 800 billion dollar stimulus package on job creation. But as VOA's Mil Arcega reports, some economists say the stimulus is creating fewer jobs than the White House claims.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Children's Art Project contest: "We Are America"



The USCIS is hosting a children’s art project themed "We Are America," asking children (5-12) to share their ideas on the following question:

"People have come from all over the world
to become Americans.
Why does that make us great?"

The USCIS will display submissions in USCIS offices across the country and will recognize participants during the 2010 celebration of the "September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance."

The deadline to submit artwork is August 16 so tell young artists to get out the crayons, paint and markers and start drawing. For full details on the project, please visit the Children’s Art Project page.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!

Also see today's USCIS blog post:
This Sunday: Father’s Day & World Refugee Day

Happy Father's Day to my dad, Gene Gagliardi, to the Milpitas Dads, and all fathers, everywhere! Happy Father's Day to my dad, Gene Gagliardi, to the Milpitas Dads, and all fathers, everywhere!

You can watch the slide show or download the pictures from Flickr. Many of these pictures were taken during classroom Passing the US Citizenship Interview parties.

Friday, June 18, 2010

West Wing Week: 06/18/10 or "Gator-cade"

In the intro, Vice-President Biden talks about the very cool One Year Anniversary Recovery Act Map--check it out!


West Wing Week: 06/18/10 or "Gator-cade"

whitehouse — June 17, 2010 — Thanks for checking out the West Wing Week, your guide to everything that's happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Join President Obama this week as he hosts an event for small business owners in the Oval Office, makes his fourth trip to the Gulf Coast, meets with governors, residents and workers to discuss the spill, speaks at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, gives his first Oval Office address, meets with BP Executives, speaks at the American Nurses Association and much more.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

USCIS Holds Children's Citizenship Ceremony to Celebrate Flag Day

USCIS Holds Children's Citizenship Ceremony to Celebrate Flag Day

WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) kicked off a week-long celebration of Flag Day by hosting a special children’s citizenship ceremony today at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. During the ceremony, USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas administered the Oath of Allegiance to 24 children from 18 different countries, spoke about the significance of Flag Day, and launched a new children’s art project with the theme “We Are America.” (read more)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Boy Scouts of America Celebrate 100th Anniversary

Boy Scouts of America Celebrate 100th Anniversary

VOAvideo — June 15, 2010 — This year the Boy Scouts of America celebrates its 100th anniversary. In the hometown of the founder, William Dickson Boyce, hundreds of Scouts from around the country gathered recently to honor his memory, and to celebrate the values of Scouting in the United States. VOA's Kane Farabaugh has more from Illinois.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Flag Day

When is Flag Day?

My father displays the flag on Flag Day (June 14) and other civic holidays.

Flag Day is in June.

Friday, June 11, 2010

USCIS Fee Increase for the N-400???

Current: $675
($595 plus a biometrics fee of $80).

Proposed 2010-2011 change: $680
($595 current fee with the $85 biometrics fee)


USCIS Blog: The Beacon Director Mayorkas on Proposed Fee Rule

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has posted to the Federal Register its proposed fee rule that would adjust fees for immigration benefit applications and petitions. The proposed fee rule will be available for public comment at regulations.gov on Friday, June 11. (read more)

From the Federal Register:

3. Application for Naturalization DHS proposes to provide special consideration to the fee for an Application for Naturalization (Form N-400), by limiting the fee at its current level of $680 ($595 current fee with the $85 biometrics fee).

USCIS received many comments on the FY 2008/2009 Fee Rule expressing concern that the N-400 fee had been increased inordinately. 72 FR at 29856.

DHS has determined that the act of requesting and obtaining U.S. citizenship deserves special consideration given the unique nature of this benefit to the individual applicant, the significant public benefit to the Nation, and the Nation's proud tradition of welcoming new citizens.

DHS believes this action to retain the naturalization fee at the current level will reinforce these principles, allow more immigrants to fully participate in civic life, and is consistent with other DHS efforts to promote citizenship and immigrant integration.\19\ For these reasons, and based on its experience in administering the naturalization program, DHS proposes to retain the fee for naturalization at the current level over the FY 2010/2011 biennial period.

(read more and scroll to Page 33461-33462)

West Wing Week: 06/11/10 or " Note to Self"

whitehouse — June 10, 2010 — Thanks for checking out the West Wing Week, your guide to everything that's happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. This week, walk step by step with the President as he speaks about job growth at K. Neal Trucks, makes his third visit to the Gulf Coast, announces his new Director of Intelligence, meets with Cabinet Secretaries about the BP oil spill, delivers the commencement address at Kalamazoo High School,holds a live tele-town hall with seniors about health care and much more.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Milpitas Adult Ed supports Measure B!



Milpitas Adult Ed ESL/Citizenship proudly waving Measure B signs.

Vote Yes For Measure B! This is a group to encourage Milpitas residents to Vote Yes for a parcel tax on June 8, 2010. Schools will face more budget cuts again. If the ballot initiative is defeated, Milpitas schools could lose music, art, and sports programs.

A victory will require a two thirds majority. Meaning, for every No vote, the kids of Milpitas will need 2 Yes votes. The parcel tax is to save programs, not for salary.

The tax is $84 for 5 years for property owners. If you break it down, that equals $0.23 per day for 5 years. $7 a month for 5 years. Seniors are exempt.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Precinct Walking for Measure B



The students, parents, teachers of Milpitas Unified school district have been "walking precincts" (visiting the houses of registered voters within a section of a town or city--subdivided for election purposes) to encourage registered voters to pass a temporary parcel tax to support local K-12 public schools.

Friday, June 4, 2010

West Wing Week: 06/04/10 or "More All"



West Wing Week: 06/04/10 or "More All"

whitehouse — June 03, 2010 — Thanks for checking out the 10th episode of West Wing Week, your guide to everything that's happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Walk step by step with the President as he visits the troubled Gulf Coast, celebrates Memorial Day, honors Paul McCartney and the current National Spelling Bee Champ, meets with General Odierno and President Garcia of Peru, and much more.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Immigration Law Divides Arizona City



VOAVideo: Immigration Law Divides Arizona City

June 04, 2010 — A law intended to curb illegal immigration is to take effect in (the state of) Arizona in late July and is generating controversy across the United States. Recent polls indicate a majority of Americans, including those in Arizona, support the new law which requires non-citizens to carry documents that show that they are legally in the country. It also requires Arizona police to question people if there is reason to believe they are in the US illegally. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Tucson, Arizona that both sides in the debate say it's up to Washington to settle the immigration issue

VOANews: Obama, Arizona Governor Meet on Immigration, Controversial State Law

US President Barack Obama meets with Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, US Immigration Law, Arizona Immigration Law

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Citizenship Interview Report-back by Mr and Mrs Chi

Citizenship Interview Report-back by Mr and Mrs Chi

uscitizenpod — June 01, 2010 — Milpitas Adult School students, Chi Kuang-Chien (husband) and Chen Hsiao-Ling (wife), talk about their interview on Fri, May 28. Gong Xi!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Names Added to Vietnam Veterans Memorial



VOAVideo: Names Added to Vietnam Veterans Memorial

June 01, 2010 — The U.S. National Park Service and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund say six names have been added to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, bringing the total number of names on the wall to 58,267. These additions will were recognized officially during Monday's annual Memorial Day Observance at the memorial wall. VOA's Suzanne Presto and Brian Allen in Washington take us to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, where a woman named Beth Cullom is flipping through a register to find the name of a young man she knew in the 1960s. Here is the story, in Beth Cullom's own words.