Recently Mayor Curtatone issued a statement of commitment to Somerville’s status as a Sanctuary City: “Somerville will stand with you regardless of your race, creed, color, sex, nationality, legal status, religion, gender identity, or sexual orientation.” In light of the Mayor’s declaration, we wish to affirm that the Somerville Public Library is a place for all residents of the city, where everyone is welcome. American public libraries have always been a haven for everyone, providing people the means to have better, richer lives.
Our staff has assembled a list of resources to assist Somerville’s newer residents, from institutions & offices such as The Welcome Project and The Parent Information Center to organizations that offer ESL classes, as well as the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition.
We’ve also ordered multiple copies of new books on immigration, citizenship and getting green cards that will be on our shelves soon.
If you are a new American, or if you know new Americans, please make use of and share these resources listed below.
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
-- the representative is John J. McCarthy
-- USCIS Citizenship pages
---- There are also lots of free resources on the USCIS website (https://www.uscis.gov/citizenship) including the most up-to-date N400 form and associated fees candidates use to apply for citizenship. The test has 2 parts, the English portion and the Civics portion. The English portion has 3 sub-tests (reading, writing, and speaking). During the interview, a USCIS officer provides a candidate with a sentence they need to read orally. The same for the writing portion. The officer will orally read a sentence and the candidate will listen and write what they hear. For the speaking portion of the interview, this part is based on the N-400 form. The officer will ask the candidate questions based on their responses to the N-400 form (Who, What, When, Where, Why questions).
Study for U.S. citizenship test - from Official Website of the Department of Homeland Security
Informed Immigrant - Post Election 2016 Resources for legal support, employment, ACA, deportation defense and more - Website also available in Spanish.
National Immigration Law Center - Know your Rights - Everyone has Certain Basic Rights – How to Be Prepared
Immigrant Legal Resource Center – ILRC can provide help finding a sanctuary, information on family-based immigration, humanitarian relief, naturalization and citizenship, as well as legal
Massachusetts Law Websites:
MIRAcoalition.org - Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition
Massachusetts Law About Immigration – The official website of the Massachusetts Court System
Immigration Findlaw – A source of Massachusetts legislation and rules related to individuals' immigration status, immigration checks by law enforcement, educational institutions, and employers, the existence of E-Verify requirements, restrictions on public benefits based on an individual's immigration status, and more.
ACLU of Massachusetts – The American Civil Liberties Union defends the constitutional rights of all people, regardless of where they came from. They are fighting back against draconian federal immigration policies and local anti-immigrant policies, and for the rights of all Massachusetts residents to be safe and free in their communities.
There are immigration departments at:
Greater Boston Legal Services
Community Legal Services and Counseling Center
Local Area Services:
http://projectcitizenship.org/ - Project Citizenship, Boston, MA, 617-694-5949
Project Citizenship provides information on the benefits of citizenship and help for eligible, legal permanent residents to overcome barriers to naturalization.
https://www.welcomeproject.org/ - Programs that strengthen the capacity of Somerville immigrant youth, adults and families to advocate for themselves and influence schools, government, and other institutions.
http://www.challiance.org/cha-services/immigration-exams.aspx The Cambridge Health Alliance has several locations in Somerville, provides required USCIS immigration (Green Card) physicals for the Dept. of Homeland Security and U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS or INS). Medical interpreters are available.
http://bostonabcd.org/immigration-services.aspx - A variety of immigration services are available at ABCD neighborhood sites.
https://connect.mangolanguages.com/somerville/login?u=176296 - The Mango Languages database, available from the Somerville Public Library through your computer at home, has language training and practice for English for speakers of other languages (Brazilian Portuguese, Spanish, Chinese, French, Italian, Vietnamese, etc.)
http://www.iiicenter.org/what-we-do/immigration-legal-services/ - The Irish International Immigrant Center Legal Services offers comprehensive, professional, and confidential services for non-citizens, regardless of their legal status or ability to pay or ethnicity or language (i.e. the Irish Immigrant Center is not just for Irish - it helps immigrants of all backgrounds). Help understanding immigration options and U.S. laws.
Services in English, Spanish, French, and Haitian Creole. Boston area (617) 542-7654.