Althea is a Jamaican immigrant who is an avid reader of “Immigration Answers,” the New York Daily News column written by Director of CUNY Citizenship Now, Allan Wernick. In 2011, after reading his column, Althea learned about the Annual CUNY/Daily News Citizenship NOW! Call-In.
Right away, she called the call-in number that was listed on that week’s paper, because she wanted to learn more about how to bring her 14-year old son to the United States. She had left her son, the “love of her life” as she calls him, in her native country years ago and longed to be with him. The volunteer who answered the call referred her to the York College Immigration Center where a CUNY staff member helped her to complete the affidavit of support for her son, and finish the application packet that she needed to submit to the immigration authorities to initiate the process.
Moved by her desire to help immigrants like her, and inspired by the work of the volunteers of the CUNY Citizenship Now Corps who helped her during the call-in, Althea decided to join the Corps. Althea has participated in our citizenship application events as a volunteer and has attended our trainings.
After almost two years of waiting, in July 2013, Althea traveled to Jamaica to finalize arrangements for her son’s move to the United States. She came back to the United States and a few days later, her son went to the consulate to complete the processing of an immigrant visa, after which he was able to come to New York and join her.
Althea is so excited about the events and about spending every possible moment with her son that she brought him along to volunteer at our citizenship events in Flushing (Queens) and the Bronx, soon after they came back from Jamaica. Both of them say they enjoyed the experience and are very happy starting a new chapter in their lives together.