Citizenship Services reaches out to immigrants -, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Citizenship Services reaches out to immigrants

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By Tayleigh Davis - bio | email

NORMAN PARK, GA (WALB) - It's a crime we rarely see or hear about, yet human trafficking is a growing problem.

Officials say every month right here in Georgia, hundreds of people, mainly girls trapped in sex trade are victims.

There are special laws to help those victims become U-S Citizens. Friday night, migrant workers learned about those laws and other help available to them.

There are two types of visas many Hispanics may be able to get. One is a T-Visa for victims of human trafficking. The other is a U-Visa if immigrants are victims of serious crimes.

Many immigrants say they're afraid of the naturalization process, but advocates stress they're entitled to stay in America if they're victims of violent crimes.

"This meeting tells me there is more help for immigrants going through violence or domestic adversity at home and they don't know they can get help," said naturalized citizen, Marcele Paredes

Even though Paredes got citizenship after studying at Valdosta State as an international student, she says the seminar may be helpful to many immigrants looking to gain citizenship right here in southwest Georgia.

"It was an area that we feel may be under represented so we wanted to make sure we came out here and talked to the community," said Paredes.

The Latin America Association shows Hispanics if they're victims of crimes, they could avoid deportation. The first remedy is a T-Visa which provides immigration protection to anyone involved in human trafficking against their will.

The second is a U-Visa which provides immigration protection to victims of certain types of crimes. Some include: rape, torture, prostitution, incest, domestic violence, kidnapping, slave trade, and extortion.

Representatives also handed out useful information Hispanics will need if they want to become American citizens. They included a pack of 100 flash cards. During the naturalization process, they'll be asked 10 questions. They're expected to get at least six right. 

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