SECAUCUS - The path to U.S. citizenship can be a long one. People must obtain a U.S. resident visa (commonly known as the "green card") - no easy task - and must live stateside for five years before applying for naturalization, according to the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security, which now oversees Citizenship and Immigration Services. (People who are married to citizens need only live in the U.S. for three years before applying.) The application fee alone costs hundreds of dollars.
Next, applicants must have an in-person interview with an Immigration Services agent and take an oath of allegiance.
To help residents navigate the process, the Secaucus Public Library and Business Resource Center will offer a free seven-week citizenship class, beginning Saturday, January 15. The course, which will be offered each Saturday through February 26, will be held from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at 1379 Paterson Plank Road. Attendees must be Secaucus residents.
Because the course is limited to only 20 people, those interested in participating are strongly encouraged to register soon.
The class will be taught by Dennis Pope, who holds a doctorate in American Government and Constitutional Law from Rutgers University and who taught on the university level for 36 years.
The Secaucus Public Library and Business Resource Center has recently updated its materials for those preparing for citizenship, including three useful "toolkits" that are often used in citizenship prep classes: "Literacy Skills," "Civics and Literacy," and "Ready for the Interview."
Those interested in registering should contact Library Director Jenifer May or Literacy Coordinator Louise Rittberg at (201) 330-2083. May can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Rittberg's email address is email@example.com.