FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- At a recent naturalization ceremony in downtown Fresno. More than 1,800 immigrants from dozens of countries celebrated becoming American citizens. The road here - a long, complicated, and often expensive one.
A Pew Research Center study found over 3 million of the 5.4 million legal Mexican immigrants living in the United States don't pursue citizenship. Some of the major barriers include language and cost.
Fresno immigration attorney Nathan Brown wants to change that, so he created the "Go Citizen" mobile app. Brown explains, "Gives them a sense of control over their application process, and gives them a sense of power and saves them a lot of money."
The new app -- available for Apple & Android, and in English & Spanish -- asks a series of questions to determine if the user qualifies for citizenship, green cards or work permits. The app also assists in completing the appropriate application forms, which are then emailed to you. If you'd like Brown to review your application before submitting it to the government, you can pay an additional fee of $125. Brown: "It's a fraction a tenth or less what people normally pay for an immigration attorney. I've seen many people have to borrow money from family, work extra hours. Immigration costs a lot."
That's what brought Pearl Lara into Brown's office. She came from Mexico with her family when she was just a baby. Now, at 27, she needs to renew her DACA, or work permit. Thanks to the app, she says her experience was painless: "Everybody that I know, I've told them about it. So yes, I highly recommend it. It's way more affordable. And more convenient."
That way, more people can finally call themselves American citizens -- like Arnulfo Colunga, who's lived in Tulare County for 30 years: "It's a promise to my grandkids and to my family. It's one of the happiest days in my life."
Go Citizen App Makes Naturalization Process Cheaper and Easier
The free app is available in English and Spanish for both Apple and Android devices.
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