DUSA Joins Brooklyn Borough President’s Office to Host Massive Citizenship Workshop on Saturday, March 25, 2017

DUSA Joins Brooklyn Borough President’s Office to Host Massive Citizenship Workshop on Saturday, March 25, 2017

Dominicanos USA (DUSA) will hold its monthly DUSA Citizenship Workshop this upcoming Saturday, March 25, 2017 beginning at 9:00 a.m. The citizenship drive will take place in the office of Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.

This free citizenship workshop will take place at the following address:
Brooklyn Borough Hall
209 Joralemon Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201

National Executive Director Eddie Cuesta is quoted in an official press release put out by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.

“Dominicanos USA urges all eligible and legal permanent residents with no minor offense to take the initial step of becoming a naturalized citizen. United States citizens are afforded opportunities not available to residents, as citizenship improves one’s quality of life. A citizen can exercise their right to vote, has easier travel and re-entry into the United States, can apply for federal jobs and scholarships only open tocitizens, and also has access to a multitude of other benefits.”

Mr. Cuesta’s quote can be found in several media outlets including the following newspapers and online mediums:

The Post Eagle (English)

Diario Digital (Espanol)


El camino hacia la ciudadanía.

El camino hacia la ciudadanía.

¿Sabía usted  que si ha sido Residente Permanente de los Estados Unidos por cinco años o más, podría ser elegible para solicitar ciudadanía estadounidense? ¿Sabía que si usted o un familiar es Residente Permanente con más de 55 años, podría cualificar para tomar los exámenes de naturalización y ciudadanía en español? Hay varias formas de adquirir ciudadanía estadounidense. Necesita estar informado sobre el camino a seguir para convertirse en ciudadano y quién es elegible para solicitar naturalización.

El primer paso para la ciudadanía es convertirse en Residente Permanente y obtener la tarjeta de Residente Permanente, mejor conocida como “Green Card” o tarjeta verde. Usted puede solicitar la residencia permanente de varias formas, las cuales puede explorar en este enlace. Las principales opciones para recibir la Residencia Permanente son:

Si usted cree que es elegible para la Residencia Permanente, puede cotejar los requisitos específicos aquí.

Un Residente Permanente necesita por lo menos de tres cinco años de residencia en los Estados Unidos para poder solicitar ciudadanía. Usted puede ser elegible para solicitar ciudadanía si

  • Ha sido residente permanente durante al menos 5 años y reúne todos los otros requisitos de elegibilidad. Para consultar los requisitos, puede visitar la General para la Naturalización.
  • Ha sido residente permanente durante 3 años o más y reúne todos los requisitos de elegibilidad para tramitar la naturalización como cónyuge de un ciudadano estadounidense. Si este es su caso, puede consultar la guía Cónyuges de Ciudadanos Estadounidenses.
  • Si usted está en el servicio activo en las Fuerzas Armadas de los Estados Unidos y reúne todos los otros requisitos de elegibilidad necesarios, puede tramitar la naturalización.
  • Su hijo o hija puede ser elegible para la naturalización si usted es ciudadano estadounidense, el hijo o hija nació fuera de los Estados Unidos, el hijo o hija reside actualmente fuera de los Estados Unidos, además de reunir los otros requisitos de elegibilidad.

El proceso de naturalización incluye entrevistas y un exámen en inglés sobre los Estados Unidos. Para conocer más detalles del proceso de naturalización, consulte esta guía.

El examen de ciudadanía es normalmente en inglés, sin embargo existen casos donde se permite que la persona tome el examen en su idioma nativo. Residentes Permanentes mayores de 50 años con más de 20 años de residencia legal o mayores de 55 años con más de 15 años de residencia legal, tienen la opción de tomar el examen en su idioma nativo.

Para el beneficio de los hispanoparlantes, además de un excelente sitio web informativo, el Departamento de Homeland Security ha preparado varios documentos informativos de utilidad.

Hay varias formas de obtener la ciudadanía estadounidense. Ahora es el momento de explorar sus opciones.

The path to citizenship

The path to citizenship

The Path to U.S. Citizenship

Did you know that if you’ve been a Permanent Resident of the United States with a Permanent Resident Card for the five years or more, you may be eligible to apply for citizenship? Or that if you or a loved one is a Permanent Resident over 55, you may take the naturalization test in Spanish? There are many avenues to acquiring U.S. Citizenship. You need to be informed about the path to citizenship and who is eligible to apply for naturalization.

The first step to citizenship is to become a Permanent Resident and receiving a Permanent Resident Card or “Green Card.” There are several ways to apply for Permanent Resident status, which you should check through this Homeland Security website link. The primary options to receive Permanent Resident status are:

If you think you may be eligible for a Green Card, check the specific requirements here.

A Permanent Resident needs at least three to  five years of living in the United States before being able to apply for citizenship. You may be eligible for US citizenship if:

  • You have been a permanent resident for at least 5 years and meet all other eligibility requirements. You may visit the guide Path to Citizenship for detailed information.
  • You have been a permanent resident for 3 years or more and meet all eligibility requirements to file as a spouse of a U.S. citizen. For more information, you may visit the Naturalization for Spouses of U.S. Citizens.
  • If you have qualifying service in the U.S. armed forces and meet all other eligibility requirements, you may also be eligible. Visit the guide for Military Personnel for more information.
  • Your child may qualify for naturalization if you are a U.S. citizen, the child was born outside the U.S., the child is currently residing outside the U.S., and all other eligibility requirements are met. Visit the Citizenship Through Parents page for more information.

The naturalization process requires interviews and a U.S. citizenship test in English. To learn all the details about obtaining citizenship through naturalization, please visit this link.

Although the citizenship test is done in English, there are exceptions. Permanent Residents that are 50 years old or older  and have lived in the United States for at least 20 years since becoming Permanent Residents, or over 55 years old and have lived in the United States for at least 15 years becoming Permanent Residents are allowed to take the citizenship test in their native language.

There are many ways to become a U.S. citizen. Now might be the right time to explore your options.

A Guest Post About the Jerome Ave Rezoning

A Guest Post About the Jerome Ave Rezoning


Some information about the Jerome Avenue rezoning: The City of New York is proposing a rezoning plan for Jerome Avenue in the Bronx, which encompasses all of Jerome Avenue between E 165th Street to the south and 184th street to the north; and also includes sections of Edward L. Grant Highway, E 170th Street, Mount Eden Avenue, Tremont Avenue, Burnside Avenue and E 183rd Street. All areas where a high population of Dominicans reside. In total this plan constitutes more than 70 blocks in the Jerome Avenue area. As of right now, the NYC Department of City Planning’s proposal consists of building a great deal of new residential units, but does not have any measures to protect current Bronx residents, most of whom are Dominican, from rising rent, displacement, or increased harassment from landlords that will most likely occur as a result the rezoning; neither does it outline how the resulting construction jobs will be regulated to make sure they are safe, well-paid, and for local residents; the proposal also doesn’t address the multitude of auto shop business that will be displaced and the hundreds of jobs that will be lost in the auto industry as a result of the rezoning.


Why should Dominicans care? The Jerome Avenue rezoning would affect District 4 and 5 in the Bronx, a major residential area for Dominicans in New York. This proposal would not only give incentive for increased landlord harassment, it will most likely lead to increased rental prices in the area for residents and small business owners. In addition, the proposed rezoning forces the majority of Jerome Avenue auto shops–many of which are owned and operated by Dominican immigrant men–to leave without anywhere to go; therefore taking away a primary source of income for many Dominican men in the Bronx. All of these factors would make it even harder for Dominicans to live in the Bronx.


In response to NYC Department of City Planning’s Jerome Avenue rezoning plan, the Bronx Coalition for a Community Vision was formed. This Coalition aims to make the Jerome Avenue rezoning planning process a collaborative effort between the City government and the thousands of residents and business owners affected by this proposal and hold our government officials accountable to policies and regulations around the Jerome Avenue rezoning. Through extensive surveys and multiple community meetings, the Bronx Coalition has highlighted key issues for the Jerome Avenue rezoning:


  1. Anti-displacement strategies for current residential and commercial tenants. Current tenants and small business owners will not benefit from the rezoning if the rezoning increases rents, speculation, and the forces of displacement. The City should take steps to ensure that the people and businesses that are here now are protected and are able to stay.
  2. Real affordable housing. All of the new housing built in the community should be at rent levels that reflect the need in the community.
  3. Good jobs and local hire. New construction and businesses will mean a lot of new jobs in the area and the City should guarantee that those jobs create career opportunities for local residents. Also, developers should not be allowed to build unless they commit to using contractors that are part of State Department of Labor Registered and Approved Apprenticeship programs.
    1. Safety and training. There recently has been an alarming increase in construction worker fatalities and life changing injuries in New York City. 18 construction workers died in the field from the beginning of 2015 to date. The City must mandate provisions for worker safety and training to ensure our most vulnerable workers are protected.
  4. Real community engagement. Residents need to have a say over what happens in the community, and the City should have long-term tools to ensure accountability for implementing commitments made during rezoning approval process, including a role for community in overseeing progress. The community needs this to ensure that the rezoning is actually part of a community plan that is effective and fully implemented.

As a prominent Latino community, we need to make sure that the Jerome Avenue rezoning plan benefits both long-term Bronx residents and newcomers. Get involved:

  1. Attend monthly rezoning campaign meetings on the first Thursday of every month, from 6PM-8PM at 1501 Jerome Avenue, Bronx. There is food, childcare, and interpretation (English and Spanish). The next meeting on March 2nd will be a Town Hall on the state of the Jerome Avenue rezoning with elected officials, Council Members Vanessa Gibson and Fernando Cabrera.
  2. Sign this petition online and encourage others to do so.
  3. Attend Bronx Voices: Empowering Community in the Face of Rezoning, a community event showcasing Bronx visual and performing artists, as well as an open mic session for anyone to sign up and express themselves through song, story-telling, poetry, etc. The event will take place on February 25th at 5PM at 1501 Jerome Ave, Bronx.
  4. Keep up to date on the NYC Department of City Planning’s Jerome Avenue rezoning plan by visiting their website, along with events and rallies organized by the Bronx Coalition for a Community Vision.

Together we need to find a way..

to move forward with the Jerome Avenue rezoning plan without displacement, exploitation, and harassment in the Bronx–a plan that benefits both current Bronx residents and new residents. Otherwise, we risk losing one of the last neighborhoods where low-income New Yorkers can afford to live and we risk losing the diversity and vibrancy of our City.



Katie Milagros Duarte

Dominicanos USA Guest Blogger

Bronx resident and graduate of Vassar College. Katie is a member of Bronx Rising, a group that aims to get Bronxites to re-engage with their communities by creating spaces, dialogues, and events to re-awaken the love for their communities and focus on celebrations and issues that affect the people of the Bronx.

Why Latinos Should Also Celebrate Black History Month

Why Latinos Should Also Celebrate Black History Month

We typically associate Black History Month with African-Americans. Since this is commonly the case, what does Black History have to do with the Latinx community? There is a tendency to view “black” and “Latinx” as separate entities, as if they have nothing to do with each other. However, there are significant populations of Latinxs throughout the countries of Latin America who are of African descent. These African- descended Latinxs are commonly referred to or self-identify, primarily in the U.S., as “Afro-Latinxs”. With that said, what do African-Americans and Afro-Latinxs have in common? We are black! Yet there is not nearly enough mention of the Afro-Latinx experience in the U.S. during this commemorative month. Looking back into our history, African-Americans and Afro-Latinxs share a common lineage. The conversation about the

Seen at the 54th annual Puerto Rican Day Parade along Fifth Avenue Sunday, June 12, 2011 in Manhattan, New York. 

history of the transatlantic slave trade and the experience of enslaved people is typically focused on those who came to the U.S.,especially in the South. However, only approximately 400,000 out of the 10.7 million of the enslaved Africans who survived the Middle Passage came to the U.S. over the course of the transatlantic slave trade. Thus, the majority of the Africans who survived the voyage to the Americas arrived in the Caribbean and Latin America.

The Africans who arrived in the U.S. and Latin America left a significant impact on the African-American, Afro-Latinx, and broader communities. Their descendants continue to preserve, shape, and maintain the influence left behind by their ancestors. From the music to the food, from literature and the arts to religion, there is a notable African presence that exists in both cultures. Now, what does this all mean?

“Essentially, what differs us from each other is where our African ancestors landed during the transatlantic slave trade.”

So, why should Latinxs be included in the celebration of Black History Month? Firstly, we should honor the achievements and sacrifices of the African-American community and acknowledge the horrors they endured to fight for the rights that not only African- Americans have the freedom to exercise today, but rights that continue to benefit all groups, including the Latinx community.

Secondly, Black History Month should be a celebration of all African descendants and the contributions they have made to the U.S.; there are also notable Afro-Latinx figures that made their mark in American history who deserve recognition as well. Arturo Alfonso Schomburg, a Puerto Rican of African and German descent, was a historian, writer, and activist during the Harlem Renaissance who raised awareness pertinent to the contributions African-Americans and Afro-Latinxs made in society.

Schomburg’s collection of African artifacts, art, literature, and narratives of enslaved people became the basis for the construction of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, housed in the New York Public library. Roberto Clemente, who was a Puerto Rican of African descent, became the first Latino player inducted into the Hall of Fame. Afro-Dominican Junot Diaz, writer and professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and MacArthur Fellow. Celia Cruz, who was Afro-Cuban, is recognized as the one of the most popular and renowned Latin artists of all time. She is known internationally as “The Queen of Salsa.”

These influences are a few of the many examples of Afro-Latinxs making history in the United States of America. Let us proudly celebrate Black History Month. Let us celebrate our African roots. We need to stop differentiating ourselves from the African-American community, because we are all part of the black community. It does not matter if we speak a different language. That just shows how truly diverse we—the people of the African Diaspora— are. As we move forward, let us work on sharing our narrative as Afro-Latinxs during this month, because Black History Month is OUR month too; because black history is also OUR history. And we deserve a seat at the table.