Literate adults are the key to a skilled workforce, a strong economy, safe and healthy communities, and happy productive families. As director of a local English as a Second language (“ESL”) program, we provide — at no cost — ESL, GED and Citizenship Test Preparation. Volunteer Community Tutors are matched with adults that speak any language, meeting with them each week on a one-on-one basis within their community. A large number of adult students with not having a command of the English language, who joined my program are now able to obtain jobs, received higher paying jobs than they had by advancing in current positions, got off food stamps and other State financial aide, communicate with children’s teachers and medical personnel without interpreters. It is beyond my comprehension why government and educational officials prevent and deter the adult immigrants from obtaining U.S.Citizenship and GED diplomas which, as you know, are needed to obtain jobs.
1) A few years ago, the fee to obtain U.S. Citizenship doubled.
2) Now, by January 2014, we are requiring students who need a GED to first learn how to use computers in order to complete the GED application and exam.
My ESL program helped 118 adults to become U.S. Citizens because they were able to pay the past fee of $385 fee to apply. However, I have 51 people who are ready to take the test but cannot afford to pay the current fee of $685.
Would someone please tell me why we are keeping back the immigrants in Nevada who are capable of taking a citizenship preparation class and are ready to take the exam?? Furthermore, why are we holding back all people who did not graduate high school and need a GED to obtain a job?
Florence G. Phillips
ESL In-Home Program of Northern Nevada