I could not read the text: the immigrant left without US citizenship due to her blindness

Lucio Delgado said Service citizenship and US immigration services (USCIS) did not provide a test for citizenship in Braille, which he requested. This writes The New York Times.

Не смог прочитать текст: иммигрант остался без гражданства США из-за слепоты

Photo: Shutterstock

23-year-old Mexican , the owner of a green card Lucio Delgado in February, accompanied by sister went to the post office to pick up an envelope from USCIS. They opened the envelope right at the post office.

The letter said that he has not coped with reading and has no right to naturalization. Blind Delgado was crushed.

When he took the test in may, section to read were not available in Braille. At the meeting with Federal agents a few months later he explained the problem and thought that would help him.

He decided to share his story publicly.

“I thought, “Well, I doubt I’m the only blind immigrant or immigrant with a disability who has been denied a request for naturalization because of this,” he said.

Publicity story worked: the immigration authorities is scheduled to meet with Delgado in the middle of March.

“It is easy to imagine that many people without documents are silent because they are afraid of deportation, said his lawyer Kriha. We will work hard to find out the extent of the problem for persons with disabilities who do not have documents that can lose much more.”

USCIS acknowledged that problems exist.

“USCIS identified gaps and barriers, many of which are systemic or procedural in nature”, — stated in the report on the self test USCIS.

Delgado said that there were problems not only with the lack of materials test in Braille, but and request.

“The USCIS has a policy to ensure provision for people with disabilities upon request, and we work hard to ensure the continued observance of these rules, — said in a statement. — If it becomes known error in the observance of these rules, we make every effort to remedy the situation.”

The Department stated that it will provide the English-language test in Braille for any blind or visually impaired applicant for citizenship.

According to Mary Rosenberg, associate at Access Living, a Chicago nonprofit organization that promotes the rights of people with disabilities, many blind people do not use the test in Braille, partly because thanks to new technologies, they get other ways to access the text.

“But Yes, certainly the problem is that the people who need it and who request a Braille in various government organizations don’t get it,” she said.

Blind since birth, Delgado came to the United States when he was 16 years old. He said he left his home in the Mexican state of Guerrero, because he wanted the best opportunities for education, and also because his family was afraid of the growing influence of drugs.

Delgado and his family, who now have green cards, live in Pembroke township (Il), in a rural area about 70 miles (112 km) South of Chicago.

Delgado carefully prepared for the citizenship test, which includes examination in a civil case with the questions about American history and government and English language test, including reading and writing.

He went to the optometrist for documentation to prove that he is blind and has requested to receive the test in Braille a few months before the scheduled date of the exam.

May 21, the day of the exam, it is public transport two hours to get to the office Department in downtown Chicago. Exam the civil and English exam in oral form he passed.

But when it’s time to check their reading skills, the agent told him that the Agency does not have materials in Braille, and instead suggested a version of the test in large print. Naturally, a blind person to read it could not.

The agent, he said, told him for months to go to another ophthalmologist, in order to obtain further evidence of his blindness. But Delgado has no medical insurance.

He called in Service of citizenship and immigration and, in the end, was able to schedule another meeting in Chicago on September 17. This time the agents were convinced that will be able to smooth over the situation.

Delgado with hope waited for a letter, but when he got very upset.

“I felt like my world was collapsing,” he said.

It could be the end, but Delgado shared his story with friends in social networks, which advised him to contact news agencies. It worked: CBS Chicago first reported on this story in early March. And next week, agent Service, citizenship and immigration called Delgado to schedule another appointment.

“I was surprised, says Delgado. — I didn’t know what to say.”

USCIS stated that it “cannot comment on individual cases due to privacy protection”, so it’s unclear what will happen when Delgado will go on their third meeting.

Delgado not sure if he was asked to take the test of English Braille. But, just in case he still prepared for the exam.