Group Aims To Help Permanent Residents Attain Citizenship

By Matt Kling
Published: Monday, February 4, 2019 - 9:15am

There are millions of legal permanent residents eligible for citizenship in the U.S., and one group is trying to help these immigrants out.

Promise Arizona hosts workshops several times a year to help permanent residents start paperwork to become U.S. citizens. On Saturday, Feb. 2, dozens of residents came out for a workshop at First Church UCC in Downtown Phoenix.

Manuel Gutierrez is an immigration program coordinator for Promise Arizona. He said with immigration policies changing, many people are trying to secure their future in the country.

“Even if you are a permanent resident, you can get deported," Gutierrez said. "So the best way to secure that you can stay and live in the U.S. is by becoming a U.S. citizen.”

He said the process over recent years has lengthened to almost nine months because of backlog. But he said if there is another government shutdown, the process should not get interrupted.

“These applicants are paying to become citizens, so it’s a self-funded part of the government," Gutierrez said. "So it keeps going on with its processes as usual.”

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