The BPL is helping you get your USA on with FREE immigration services

brooklyn public library immigration

Tiny American flags for some, free immigration services for others. via Flickr user Jeff Myers

Citizenship status got you down? Hey, been there. Brokelyn’s resident Canadian here, nice to meet you. As a fellow foreigner who’s constantly checking her life choices against the USCIS handbook of How Not to Fuck Up Your Delicate Status Here (OK, there is no handbook), I was pretty jazzed to hear that the Brooklyn Public Library has announced FREE immigration programming to help residents take that next step towards becoming full-blown ‘Murrican. 

BPL’s biggest program, ominously named “Prepare for Citizenship,” is an 11-week intensive course that prepares permanent residents to apply for U.S. Citizenship. Classes meet 3-6 hours per week for 11 weeks, and there’s rolling registration all year long. They offer study groups, legal mentors and everything—all free of charge, thanks to a partnership with Catholic Migration Services and a grant from USCIS.

The library has also hired two attorneys from the Immigrant Justice Corps to provide free legal assistance about everything in between, from employment authorization to political asylum. And they have office hours—just like your kindly college professors of days past, albeit on more of an appointment-based system.

The catch for that citizenship class is that you do have to be a legal permanent resident, like a green card holder. So you’re just on a temporary visa, you might want to flirt harder and start thinking about who’s going to marry you. Just kidding. But seriously, if you’re not at the permanent residency stage yet but you still want to take advantage of some free legal services, you should just set up an appointment with one of those library attorneys and ask all of the questions, or check out their list of other free resources (freesources?) for assistance throughout the borough.

But if you’re one of the lucky few to have your green card, and you’re ready to say your I Do’s to America, then get your unnaturalized butt over to one of these upcoming registration sessions (the next one is tomorrow in at the Kensington library) for the Citizenship intensive at the library.