[nfbwatlk] It's Humberto again: Questions about legal status andservices (continuation)
k7uij at panix.com
Sun Mar 14 19:46:06 CDT 2010
DSB is correct: you must be a U.S. citizen to receive rehabilitation
services including being eligible to attend the Orientation and Training
Center in Seattle. The word I get from the Deputy Director at DSB is that
you would probably be eligible for what are called "Independent Living
Services" -- teaching you the basics of home management and getting
around -- but not for comprehensive rehabilitation services. And even were
you eligible for rehab services, no employer here in the U.S. could legally
hire you under current immigration law unless you either (a) have resident
alien status, i.e., have a "Green Card" which gives you permission to work
here or (b) had become a U.S. citizen. Technically, employers who hire
persons who are not living here legally or are U.S. citizens are subject to
While I certainly understand your frustration, this is not at all unusual.
Most countries have restrictions dealing with those who are noncitizens and
although some countries have a "guest worker" program, the U.S. currently
We may be able to put you in touch with an immigration lawyer who knows the
ins and outs of becoming a citizen. Under the best of circumstances, though,
I believe it takes five years. If immigration reform legislation passes,
things may change. But I doubt that happens this year with everything else
that's on Congress's plate.
I believe Dan Frye wrote you of your situation and offered advice; I can try
to find that email and send it to you again.
AS I say, I'm no immigration law specialist and I recognize how frustrated
you must be. But the law is as it has been quoted to you.
Mike Freman, President
NFB of Washington
----- Original Message -----
From: "hmp" <humbertoa5369 at netzero.net>
To: <NfbWaTlk at nfbNet.org>
Sent: Friday, March 12, 2010 4:54 PM
Subject: [nfbwatlk] It's Humberto again: Questions about legal status
> I talked to the DSB on Monday afternoon and I asked if because I am not a
> citizen or I am living as an illegal resident, I can get their rehab
> services or their programs. Here is what they told me:
> Humberto asks: "Is there any way I can get your services at the DSB?"
> Yakima DSB lady said: "Well, I don't think so, but I'm not positive... I
> am going to talk to Carla, who is in charge of this, and I will let you
> know when I call later."
> Humberto asks: "Do you know if I'm eligible for other programs or
> rehabilitation services then?"
> Lady said: "Let me talk to your teachers at the ESD 105 people, and I will
> let you know... who is the main person at your school to talk to?"
> Humberto said: "Dr. Denise Robinson, teacher of the blind."
> DSB Lady said: "I'll call you later, see what Carla has to say."
> Afterwards, I received a call and this is what they said:
> "Humberto, you can't be eligible for our rehab services. We don't
> currently provide with services to non-citizens or people like you. We are
> unable to give you any support... Let me see what other services you are
> able to apply for, OK? Don't give up. I'll see what we can do to help you
> in seeing which services you are able to have. We'll talk to your ESD
> person, and see what she has to say. Don't give up."
> With this in mind, I feel like I am stuck in a bottomless, unending and
> enormous pit. Why aren't they able to provide with this? I came to this
> country because they are very nice, to follow my dreams, and to get my
> future. So, why is this? Why can't I have access to applications and
> services just like the rest of you, the rest of the blind in America, can
> have? Why are they chewing me off? As to my personal feelings, I feel
> totally discriminated! I feel like I'm not given the rights to do
> anything! to be honest, I feel just like a black woman living in the U.S.
> in the middle of the 19th century. I don't know if you would feel this way
> too... perhaps I'm exaggerating too much. But, anyhow, my idea is, why is
> this happening to me? Am I perhaps the ** ONLY ** blind student living in
> this country with this kind of status?
> To that end, I don't want to give up!!! not at all!!! If this doesn't
> work, then how can I become an AMERICAN citizen? I need the answer to this
> question please. Does anyone have any comments about becoming a citizen of
> the U.S. please email me back with suggestions.
> For your information: my long-term dream is to go into a transition
> program where I can learn my Daily Living Skills as well as mobility, to
> pursue a career on Information Technology (IT), have a successful life and
> make a good family.
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