Immigrants

  • On July 31, 2007 the U.S. citizenship application fee rose from $400 to $675, a 300% increase from the 2002 fee rate of $225.  For many eligible, low-income legal permanent residents of Sonoma County, this high cost makes it nearly impossible to realize their dream of becoming U.S. citizens.
  • According to the California State Bar Association, there are no attorneys certified immigration as law specialists in five of the six counties we serve (and only one in Sonoma County).  Catholic Charities operates with federal recognition by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA _ an arm of the U.S. Department of Justice) and has done so for over 20 years.
  • Catholic Charities' VAWA program this year has assisted 26 survivors of domestic violence gain independent legal immigration status, empowering them to leave their abusers and work legally to support their children on their own.
  • Immigration helps 2,000 people each year with legal pathways to work authorization, permanent residency and citizenship.