The Memphis (Tenn.) Public Library has partnered with the the Immigration and Naturalization Office to provide citizenship workshops in many of their library branches. In the workshops, Lynuel Dennis, Supervisory District Adjudication Officer of the Department of Homeland Security, offered an overview of the entire process of becoming a United States citizen. Her presentation detailed how to file paperwork, gave pertinent information about the citizenship exam, and explained important laws to applicants and teachers. Participants also learned about the rights and responsibilities that go along with being a citizen.
The library also recently hosted naturalization ceremonies attended by more than 1,000 people in which more than 430 candidates became United States citizens. Becoming a naturalized citizen isn’t a simple process. Candidates must pass background checks and manage a huge amount of paper work, and the total cost can reach into the tens of thousands, including attorney’s fees. It can take five to six years or even longer to become a citizen.
Wang-Ying Glasgow, Adult Services Coordinator for the Memphis Public Library and Information Center, commented, “I help coordinate all kinds of programs and services in our library system. Assisting and hosting a naturalization ceremony is one of the events that is very special and meaningful to me since I myself am a naturalized citizen. Candidates are coming from all corners of the world; this will be one of the most important days in their lives. A day they have dreamed for a long time and a moment that signifies a new beginning in their lives.”
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