IIIC Welcomes Tessine Murji

Tessine Murji joins the Irish International Immigrant Center (IIIC) as the new intern in the Learning Exchange Program. Originally from Montreal, Tessine is a sophomore at Northeastern University where she majors in International Affairs and Cultural Anthropology and minors in Middle Eastern Studies. During her internship, Tessine will provide administrative assistance to the J-1 Irish Work and Travel Program.

“I applied because I am interested in immigration and I thought the IIIC would be a good place to learn about it” says Tessine. Tessine is also excited to work with the Irish J-1 participants and will be focusing on the communications and outreach aspect of the program.”

In her spare time, Tessine is a member of the Progressive Student Alliance where she assisted in the movement to unionize adjunct professors at Northeastern. She also enjoys hiking and climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania last summer.

The IIIC is excited to have Tessine join the team!

Immigration News and Information


Q: I’ve been a US legal permanent resident for almost ten years, and my green card is expiring soon. What is the current procedure for renewing it?

A: Immigrants filing applications to renew permanent resident cards with a ten-year term of validity, commonly known as “green cards,” need to file Form I-90 (which can be downloaded at www.uscis.gov) with US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The form can be mailed or sent by courier to the addresses shown in the instructions. For most applicants, the submission also can be made on-line; go to www.uscis.gov and follow the instructions for electronic filing of Form I-90.

Applicants receive by mail a notice for a biometrics (fingerprint and digital photograph) processing appointment at a local USCIS Application Support Center.

IMPORTANT: Applicants are being instructed to take to their biometrics appointments the records of any arrests, convictions, or any other involvement in criminal matters since last being granted legal permanent resident status. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers have been attending these appointments and reviewing the documentation supplied by applicants. Some applicants have been detained because of the criminal records they submitted or because an ICE background investigation detected criminal convictions or outstanding arrest warrants. Accordingly, it is IMPERATIVE that you obtain legal advice before your biometrics appointment if you have ANY issues involving past or pending criminal proceedings anywhere in the world.

IIIC can help with the I-90 renewal filing process, as well as the application for getting a new green card when the original has been lost or stolen, or when the card contains incorrect information.

Note: Holders of two-year conditional permanent resident cards based on marriage to a US citizen don’t file Form I-90 to remove the condition; they use Form I-751 instead.

In addition, it is important to note that anyone who has been a legal permanent resident long enough to be eligible for US citizenship really ought to consider applying to become a US citizen as soon as possible. Even if a permanent resident has lost their green card, they can file for naturalization in lieu of filing an I-90. Once the applicant receives their USCIS receipt notice, some local USCIS offices will provide a stamp in the passport as proof of permanent resident status during the pendency of the naturalization application.

IIIC can also help you with the all aspects of the naturalization application process.

Disclaimer: These articles are published to inform generally, not to advise in individual cases. Immigration law is always subject to change. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services and US Department of State frequently amend regulations and alter processing and filing procedures. For legal advice seek the assistance of IIIC immigration legal staff.

IIIC Immigration Updates

Join the IIIC for our Open House – January 29th | 5.30 - 7.30

Meet IIIC staff, board, friends and volunteers and learn about our legal, wellness and education programs. Hear about our plans for 2015 as we work toward our vision of a society where all people are welcomed and valued and enjoy equal opportunities and protections. Light Refreshments will be served. RSVP by January 27th to Mary Kerr at [email protected] or 617-695-1554. Irish International Immigrant Center, 100 Franklin Street, LL-1 | Boston, MA 02110 (Enter at 201 Devonshire St.)

Still Postponing Citizenship? – You’re Not Alone

If you are a Permanent Resident of the U.S. and have not yet taken the steps to become a citizen, you have a lot of company. Of the 13.3 million legal permanent residents (LPRs) in the United States, 8.8 million are currently eligible for citizenship. Many, however, are not making the leap from legal permanent resident status to citizen. The number of those naturalizing has been less than 800,000 for the past five consecutive years, and in 2013, a mere 8.9 percent of eligible immigrants applied for citizenship.

For those eligible to apply, the application cost of naturalization is one of the main barriers to citizenship. LPRs are price sensitive to the costs, so fee increases, such as the significant increase in 2007, may have had a negative impact on the rate of naturalization. When the price goes up, naturalization rates go down.

Of course, for many it’s not the cost that is the problem. Sometimes it’s just plain old-fashioned procrastination – “I always intended to do it but never got around to it.” Well, it’s not too late in the New Year to add another resolution to your agenda. Start now and you could be a passport carrying U.S. citizen by the summertime.

Assistance for the completion and filing of your naturalization application is always available at the Irish International Immigrant Center (IIIC). For further information, call Ambreen at 617-542-7654, Ext. 41.The IIIC also has a six week Citizenship Preparation class beginning on January 29. To register, contact Sarah at 617-542-7654, Ext. 36.

Free Computer Skills Workshops

This winter, the Irish International Immigrant Center (IIIC) is offering basic computer skills workshop for people ranging from those who have never turned on a computer to those who may know a little but want to gain confidence and more knowledge and improve their internet skills, including sending emails and searching the web. The workshops providing students with skills, confidence, and computer competency. Beginning on Thursday, January 15 there will be weekly workshops from 6 to 8pm at the IIIC Downtown office. To sign up for the evening class, and to learn more about the basic skills course, contact Sarah at (617) 542-7654 x36.

Executive Action Information Session – February 1

The Irish International Immigrant Center (IIIC), in collaboration with the Irish Cultural Centre of New England (ICC), will present an information session to inform clients about President Obama’s Executive Action plan for immigration relief. The information session will be presented on Sunday, February 1 at 1:00pm at the Irish Cultural Centre in Canton, MA.

Information Session Now Online

The Irish International Immigrant Center (IIIC) website now has a video presentation of a recently held information session to discuss President Obama’s Executive Action plan for immigration relief. IIIC Managing Attorney, Jeannie Kain, explains the Deferred Action Benefits of the plan, eligibility to apply, and the factors that need to be considered before applying. To access the information session video, go to the website: (www.iiicenter.org) Executive Action page.

Health and Well-Being

Matters of Substance

It's a New Year Question - Can people really change?

Q. “My younger brother is about to lose everything. He was always a bit irresponsible at home, usually going from job to job, leaving when he didn’t like it anymore or just being fired. We were delighted when he moved in with his girlfriend last year, maybe he was finally beginning to change. We knew he liked to drink but found out about his drug use when his girlfriend came to see us. She was very upset, saying he would usually come home drunk after work and at weekends he rarely came home at all. He always promised her things would change, but they never did for very long. She said she loves him but is scared of him when he’s angry, aggressive, and possessive when he uses drugs. She’s just found out that she’s pregnant and he has lost another job. She’s thinking about going home to Ireland, as she’s afraid he will never change. I don’t know what to say to her, because I don’t know either. Can he change?”

A. It is very upsetting to see someone you love whose life seems to be falling apart. The key thing to remember is that it is your brother who is the only one who can stop this avalanche of problems. For many the New Year can seem like a great opportunity to consider new changes. However before someone contemplates this, there is a theory that some may find useful. It has called the “Stages of Change” model, developed in the late 1970’s/early 1980’s by James Prochaska and Carlo DiClemente and was originally designed to help those who were trying to quit cigarettes. Now it is widely used to help people who have problems with alcohol and drugs. There are five stages we go through when we change. I have listed them here, along with some examples of statements that can help you identify how ready someone is to change:

1. Pre-Contemplation: `I’m not using drugs. ‘I drink the same as anyone else!’; ‘It’s you who has the problem, not me!’

2. Contemplation:There’s always a fight when I get home from the pub,” “I hate waking up with a hangover, but my boss was driving me crazy and I needed to relax”, “I’ll stop tomorrow’, but tomorrow never comes.

3. Preparation: That’s it! I can’t do this anymore. There has to be another way!” “Where can I get help?”, “What if I can’t stop?”

4. Action:I could use a drink now but will find an AA meeting instead,”

5. Maintenance: “I am bringing Mike to a meeting, because it has helped me so much”

Change is ALWAYS possible but we need support. If you would like to learn more about how people can change unhealthy behaviors around alcohol and drugs, please join us for our 4 week Family Healing Series of workshops in South Boston for the month of February 2015. Call Danielle, in confidence and without judgment, at the Irish International Immigrant Center for more information about this program or for support and counseling. Phone: 617-542-7654 Ext. 14 or e-mail: [email protected].

Quote of the Week

“A face without freckles is like a sky without stars.” – Irish saying