Growing citizenship in Rochester Growing citizenship in Rochester
51 immigrants from 28 countries became citizens today in Rochester. Many of them came from thousands of miles away. Others were helped by the... Growing citizenship in Rochester

51 immigrants from 28 countries became citizens today in Rochester. Many of them came from thousands of miles away.

Others were helped by the Catholic Family Center (CFC) in Rochester, one of 40 other organizations that have been awarded a citizenship and assimilation grant by US citizenship and immigration services (USCIS) for the 2018-2020 fiscal years. CFC is one of two organizations funded in Upstate New York.

One man received crucial help from the organization. “Burma is very, very hard to live,” said Khan Lian while looking back to where he was before the United States. “I was scared. I was scared of the police. I was scared of immigration.”

The government drove him out because of his desire to learn. He ran to Malaysia where it was not much better. He later got help from the United Nations and was sent to the United States, more specifically Rochester, for a better life.

“I didn’t know anything about U.S. life,” said Lian. Six years of work with the CFC and he has become a citizen.

The organization continues to grow, and Lisa Hoyt, director of refugee immigration services, says she has seen thousands of refugees through their doors. “Our department is currently growing with the amount of need in the Rochester community for immigration assistance,” said Hoyt.

Lian became a sushi chef and is now working at Next Door Wegmans. As of Thursday, as a citizen of the United States. “Keep trying, and then finally better and better. I got a car, I got a job, and finally, I am a citizen,” said Lian.

Lian got a lot of help also from OACES. More information found here

—- ROCHESTER FIRST

Christopher Dupree

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