SAN JOSE (KGO) -- In San Jose at Mineta International Airport workshops were held for prospective citizens Wednesday. It was the beginning of a new partnership among San Jose, the airport and the National Immigration Forum.
There has been a surge in the number of immigrants applying for citizenship since Donald Trump became President, according to lawyers who specialize in immigration.
The program will help immigrant airport workers and their families become U.S. citizens, and San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo says now is the time. "This is the greatest bulwark we have against any political arrows that may be slumg from Washington."
About a dozen workers showed up for the workshop. One of them was maintenance worker Jorge Cortes, who has had a green card for eight years. "I want to make sure if I go travel, I'm able to come back. You've been seeing stories in the news. I just want to make sure I'm OK," Cortes said.
Immigration attorney Gabriel Jack says Cortes isn't alone. "Since the day of the elections I'd say we had been getting a surge of calls from people who have been permanent residents often for numerous years."
Then, President Trump issued a 90-day Executive Order barring people in seven countries from entering the U.S. It resulted in chaos at SFO and other airports, where some non-U.S. citizens, including those with green cards were detained.
"Since the travel ban, it's spiked even more and there have been more citizenship applications than I have ever done in my entire career," Jack said. He's been receiving two to three calls a day - the same number he would get in a normal month.
He used to tell his clients they were safe with a green card, but no longer feels comfortable saying that.
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