An immigrant nearing retirement is receiving legal support from Justice for Our Neighbors at their Marshalltown clinic to obtain benefits she has earned. Emily Sohn Rebelsky, an immigration attorney with Iowa JFON, tells her story.
Carmen currently works as a bilingual tutor with the Marshalltown school district and hopes to retire soon. In order to collect the retirement benefits she has earned, she needs to apply for naturalization.
Carmen first got her lawful permanent residence in the United States in 1978. Her permanent resident card is so old that it has no expiration date.
She meets all the qualifications for citizenship. She has lived continuously in the U.S. for nearly 40 years. She speaks fluent English and she is a person of upstanding moral character. She never naturalized because she did not know what the requirements were and could not afford a lawyer to help her through the process. And JFON “is happy to help Carmen through her citizenship journey!”
JFON is a faith-driven ministry, welcoming immigrants into our churches and communities by providing free, high-quality immigration legal services, education and advocacy. Apportionment gifts of $45,000 from the United Methodist churches of Iowa are helping to support JFON in 2017, but individuals, corporations and churches which contribute to Iowa Advance Special #375 are funding the majority of JFON’s annual budget.