We will review the new 21 page naturalization form (N-400) and how to complete it. We will focus on the new questions on the form, why they have been added, and how they relate to an applicant’s eligibility for naturalization. We will discuss some of the ambiguities that arise in trying to answer many of the questions and give input and insight on what the Citizenship and Immigration Service may be looking for while reviewing the new application form.
Presenter: Eric Cohen, ILRC Executive Director
Has been with the ILRC since 1988 and has extensive experience training attorneys, paralegals, community advocates, and organizers on a variety of immigration law, immigrants’ rights, and leadership development topics. Eric is a national expert on naturalization and citizenship law and is the primary author of the ILRC’s manual entitled, Naturalization and U.S. Citizenship: The Essential Legal Guide for Legal Practitioners. Eric has served as a liaison between community groups and CIS (Citizenship and Immigration Services) officials for the San Francisco Bay Area since 1994. Additionally, Eric helped develop ILRC's community model for effectively processing naturalization applications in groups and trained both legal workers and lay advocates in the Bay Area and Los Angeles, and works with community organizers and others on voter education for naturalized citizens. Prior to working at the ILRC, Eric worked with the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, Labor Immigrant Assistance Project where he worked on legalization and union organizing campaigns. He is conversant in Spanish.
Co-Presenter: Aidin Castillo, ILRC Immigration Policy Attorney
Working in Washington D.C., Aidín focuses on the effective implementation of DACA and bringing the voice of California’s immigrant communities to immigration reform. A former ILRC summer intern, Aidín has been involved in immigration advocacy for nearly a decade. After graduating from UC Davis School of Law in 2011, she worked at the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation in Sacramento, California, advising rural migrant communities of their rights. Her passion for immigrants’ rights stems from her own experience as an immigrant from Mexico. In her free time, Aidín enjoys swimming and volunteering with DREAM Act related organizations.