EL CENTRO, Calif. - Two local people who were long-time legal U.S. residents are now facing deportation, according to citizenship instructor Esteban Jaramillo.
“Because of a small problem with the law, nothing drastic, but just a small problem, now they’re in deportation proceedings,” Jaramillo said.
The instructor explained this is the fear that is driving many people to want to become U.S. citizens.
“This fear has been manifested by several people in the community that now want to take part of the citizenship program,” Jaramillo said.
He added this fear began in last year’s elections.
“Residents have this fear about what the government may do in the future that jeopardizes their residence in the united states,” Jaramillo said.
Calexico citizenship instructor Jessica Youcupicio said there’s a lot of uncertainty in some legal residents.
“There is a lot of fear of deportation from people because of changes in administration and talks about changing laws for residents and possible people who might be deemed as criminals,” Youcupicio said.
A Calexico resident taking classes said she’s afraid, as well.
“I’m nervous. I need to make sure I’m ready. I don’t want to think that I won’t pass the exam,” Maria Elena Hernandez Rodriguez said.
For some the application fee is free through a low-income program, but for others who don’t qualify for the low-income discount it costs $725 dollars. Jaramillo said that may change soon, just like immigration policies seem to be changing, as well.
“There is a possibility that within a certain time frame, they would do another evaluation and determine that they need to increase those fees,” Jaramillo added.
For more information on citizenship classes, instructors Esteban Jaramillo can be reached at 760-234-3688 and Jessica Youcupicio at 760-673-9585