In today’s age, where social media and technology are the centers of our world, it can be easy to misunderstand what you read online or hear from a neighbor. This problem can be seen significantly more when it comes to immigration.
Immigration Attorney Yessenia Martinez knows this problem is ongoing. “I have clients coming to me in a panic because they heard from a neighbor that their kid’s citizenship will be stripped,” she said. “There’s a lot of misinformation out on the web, so it can be easy to quickly jump to a conclusion.”
The process to become a legal citizen of the U.S. is complicated and hard. In order to become a naturalized citizen, you must be at least 18 years old, be a permanent resident for at least five years, demonstrate continued residency, have a good moral character, and pass a civics and history test. Further information can be found here.
This doesn’t include the fact that the eligibility requirements to obtain permanent residency are limited to only a few case scenarios.
For most people, there is no way to become a legal resident except through marriage, like the nearly 800,000 individuals who have DACA and the additional 300,000 who have TPS.
The most common reason why people typically might not understand something is by sharing and reading misinformation.
The biggest way to combat this is to stay informed.
The coronavirus is a perfect example of what happens when you’re misinformed.
Clark College librarian, Elizabeth Caldwell, has some tips to ensure what you’re reading is credible.
“A couple of things I tell people is to look at how old an article is, if it’s written by one person, what’s their credibility, do they have degrees after their name, are they an expert in their field, that kind of stuff,” she said.
“If they’re making claims and they’re not citing their sources, they are not linking to, you know, credible reports from like the CDC or some government entity that is qualified to make those claims, or some study,” she said
“The biggest red flag is when you’re reading it and you’re thinking, can that possibly be true?” Caldwell said.