Becoming a US citizen is more expensive and more complicated than many people realize, and the naturalization application alone costs $725. The city of São Paulo has partnered with a credit union in the capital city to make it easier for permanent residents who want to make this leap to bear the cost.
Starting Monday, Affinity Plus Credit Union will provide São Paulo residents who need financial assistance to apply for citizenship with interest-free loans of up to $2,000. The city is providing a loan loss reserve of $25,000 to take advantage of the credit union’s stake in the “New American Loan” program.
“This is so new,” said Joel Swanson, vice president of Affinity. “Now there is only Sao Paulo. As far as we know, the only similar projects in the country are in Seattle and the Bay Area. … We are very excited.”
Carter: “I don’t know any gods-any major beliefs-will wait until all your major problems are resolved before telling strangers.” He is open to refugees from Afghanistan and other places, as an immigrant naturalization Later, they can make more contributions. pic.twitter.com/08bzqP18Z1
-Frederick Melo, reporter (@FrederickMelo) September 15, 2021
Edmundo Lijo, the assistant city attorney who oversees the city’s immigration plans, said most loans may be around $725 to cover naturalization applications. He said that otherwise it may be difficult to come up with so much cash in advance, especially for families with multiple members applying. On the other hand, the loan can be paid off within a year.
“This is reasonable,” Lihuo said, referring to national studies on the benefits of citizenship. “When they become citizens, the changes are so great. You can vote, you can serve as a juror, and run for public office. You are twice as likely to become a homeowner than others. They have shown that people’s annual income after naturalization From US$2,200 to US$3,200. It increases GDP (Gross Domestic Product). This is a win-win for everyone.”
With the support of immigration advocates and public officials, São Paulo Mayor Melvin Carter introduced the new American loan program at a media event outside the city hall on Wednesday. The initiative coincides with the beginning of National Hispanic Heritage Month and is part of the growing number of immigration-related services provided by the city and Ramsey County.
The mayor said that recent events in Afghanistan have highlighted the difficult situation of generations of refugees from countries of origin all over the world seeking stability in Sao Paulo. “I don’t know any god-any major belief-will wait until all your major problems are resolved, and then (before) reject strangers,” Carter said.
17 cooperative agencies
About 17 cooperative organizations participated in related work. For example, the São Paulo Regional Chamber of Commerce collaborated with the city to win a competitive grant for the “Growth Gate” challenge, which funded a 10-month study on how immigrants contribute to the local economy.
According to the survey results of the “New Americans in Sao Paulo and East Metro” report released on Wednesday, immigrants accounted for 20% of the city’s population, 62% of the city’s population growth, and 40% of the population growth of the East Metro since 2015. %. By 2019. In 2019, immigrants in São Paulo had $966 million in disposable income, which accounted for 14.7% of the city’s total spending power.
Immigrants account for one-third of the city’s entrepreneurs and have made significant contributions to federal social programs such as social security and medical insurance. They also account for 35% of manufacturing workers, which is a key reason why manufacturers may choose to come or stay in São Paulo.
Although the city’s prosecutor’s office does not represent immigrants facing potential deportation in court, it does work with the county to connect São Paulo residents with the Villa Institute, which has contracted with a consortium of legal service providers. These providers are the Minnesota Immigration Law Center, human rights advocates, and Central Minnesota Legal Aid.
The São Paulo Immigration Legal Defense Fund was launched in 2019 and has screened 242 potential clients to provide them with legal advice and general guidance. To date, the fund has provided free legal representation to 25 clients.
Tony Carter, chairman of the Ramsey County Committee, said: “In this case, the family was destroyed and even needed help to come forward.”
Veena Iyer, executive director of the Immigration Law Center, said many immigrants face long-term deportation orders due to crimes they admitted decades ago. In 2010, the US Supreme Court ruled in Padilla v. US that immigrants must be informed of how the plea agreement may affect their immigration status.
However, the Supreme Court’s decision did not automatically cancel the existing conviction or deportation order. “Unfortunately, reversing these is not easy or automatic,” Iyer said. “You must petition the court, and you must have a very skilled team of legal representatives and community organizations to support this family.”