Ortega, 33, has lived in Pescadero for more than 30 years as a permanent resident. Becoming a citizen seemed like an afterthought. Her mother and sisters were already citizens, as are her children. But Ortega decided to apply after realizing that it could facilitate her trips back to Mexico.
Applying for citizenship can be hugely daunting, not to mention expensive. Mancera said it cost her $680 and involved piles of paperwork. (Puente can help low-income clients get a discount, but Mancera didn’t qualify). The wife of a U.S. citizen, Mancera moved to the U.S. in 2005 from Baja and became a permanent resident around the same time she began work for Puente. She began helping Puente clients through the citizenship process, helping them prepare for the citizenship test.
“I felt I wanted to have the security to stay here – in case anything political came up, I didn’t want to be divided from my family,” says Mancera. “Also with the presidential election coming in November, I really wanted to vote.”
To learn more about Puente’s immigration services, contact Director Rita Mancera at (650) 879-1691 Ext 102, or email@example.com