Group urges legal permanents U.S. residents become citizens

By Danielle Thomas - bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance is encouraging legal permanent residents to take the step to becoming United States citizens. This weekend MIRA will host Citizenship Day to help people get help with documentation needed for naturalization.

Organizers say many people know the benefits like voting, a US passport and government jobs, but many people say they feel intimidated by the process.

MIRA Community Organizer Socorro Leos is an American citizen originally from Mexico.

Leos said, "I think, psychologically, a lot of people think they're not going to be able to make it because the English proficiency exam. About history and about politics. You have to know a lot of the life of this country, and you have not been in school. So I think they get afraid of all this."

Leos says there are 100 questions, but if people study hard, they can pass the exam. Citizenship Day will be held at the MIRA office on Main Street in Biloxi on Saturday October 24th, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Organizers say participants must pay a $60 MIRA membership fee.

What to Bring to Citizenship Day


  • Your Permanent Resident Card (Green Card)
  • $675 filing fee (includes biometrics) in the form of a personal check or money order made out to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. No fee required if active military; bring proof of active duty status
  • 2 color passport style photos with white background
  • List of home addresses for the past five years and the dates during which you resided at these addresses
  • List of employer names and addresses for the past five years, including the dates you worked with these employers
  • Dates you have been outside of the U.S. since becoming a permanent resident and the countries you traveled to during these trips.  Bring your passport, itineraries, tickets to track all trips made outside the USA
  • Your childrens' complete names, addresses, dates of birth, and their A#s (alien registration numbers) if they have one
  • Your most recent tax return
  • If necessary bring an interpreter to translate

Other documents 

If the name on your green card is different than your current legal name:

  • Bring the documents that legally changed your name (marriage certificate, divorce decree, or court document)

If you are applying for US citizenship based upon a marriage to a US citizen bring:

  • Proof your spouse had been a citizen for the past 3 years ( spouse's birth certificate,  naturalization certificate, certificate of citizenship, US passport, or form FS240)
  • Current marriage certificate
  • Proof of termination of all prior marriages of your spouse (divorce decrees, annulment, or death certificates)
  • Document showing that you and your spouse are still living together (examples: tax returns, bank statements, leases, mortgages, birth certificates of your children, IRS-certified copies of income taxes for the past 3 years or IRS tax return transcript for the last 3 years)

If you and/or your spouse have been married more than one time:

  • Bring proof that ALL previous marriages ended (Divorce decree(s), annulment(s), or death certificates(s))

If you have taken a trip(s) outside of the US since you have become a Permanent Resident:

  • Bring a list of all trips you have taken lasting more than 24 hours outside of the U.S. since you have become an LPR.  Include how many days you were outside of the U.S.  during each trip and the countries
  • Bring your current and/or expired passports to help you with dates of travel

If you have a dependent spouse or children who do not live with you bring:

  • Any court order to provide financial support
  • Evidence of your financial support (examples: cancelled checks, money orders receipt, evidence of wage garnishments, or letter from parent or guardian who cares for your children)

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