So yesterday we switched things up a bit and went to Vitnamese Social Service for the day. This will be a once a month thing, which is quite exciting! Seong, another intern, was there as well and we worked together with Sharon on doing the complete GC process in one sitting. We got the flow going, and it was really fast! I really enjoyed working with Karen. It's a population I don't know too much about, but the people, and the translator, really helped explain some things about them that I didn't really now.
They don't have a nationality, and most of them have never had any form of education (meaning they don't even know how to write their own language) and so the english classes they're taking right now are some of their first times writing or reading. Crazy! some of the Somalis I work with at SALT also have those problems. But yes--Another thing about the Karen culture (note it's not Korean) is that they do not associate things by dates. One of the mothers did not know her children's birthdays, or when her husband died, or when they were married. Things that we think are so vital for knowing--have no real importance in village life. All their birthdays ended up being 01/01/year. That's true for most refugees.
It's funny, as Sharon was explaining, that USCIS want all the data and evreything to be so exact and perfect... yet to be honest most of the dates they put down are all made up! It's true, and sometimes I wonder why exactly we're so concerned about some of the dates. Ah well!
It's also very expensive to file for permenant residence or citizenship! Most of the clients that come in have low income and/or public benefits, with kids, and trying to find a job but struggling to... and then expected to pay 500 dollars to get a green card and 1000 for natualization (roughly). Right after paying for their tickets to come here. And it's just hard to realize that like, hey. I can hardly afford that, let alone someone whose stuggling with so many other things.
WELL. that's my rant. To be honest, I can't wait to get researching these things and try and figure why USCIS is so crappy in terms of getting back to people, losing things (that cost about 60 dollars to get then charging the people to replace it...and they have to resend everything in again), and having cases that are not responded too for 2-3 years....
yes. should be interesting!