Yuma Lawyer, Citizenship Applicant Discuss Process at Immigration Legal Clinic

Aug 5, 2019

While undocumented youth and asylum seekers have been in the news recently, the half dozen members of the public who attended an immigration legal clinic in Yuma Friday had questions on the citizenship process, which officials say is more representative of immigration services sought by Yuma County residents.

Susana Barajas said she has lived in Yuma for 20 years and had some questions as she plans to apply for citizenship.

"I had some doubts about the process," Barajas said. "The people were very helpful with their answers."

Yuma immigration attorney Sebastian Sanchez said there have been asylum cases filed in Yuma County, but it’s challenging. There is no immigration court in Yuma and, for Central American applicants, the closest consulates for their countries are in Los Angeles.

“Immigration is a sensitive topic," Sanchez said. "I’ve had people upset with me, saying ‘why are you defending those people?’ At the end of the day, I’m defending the Constitution. This is the law. This is what (asylum seekers) have to do.”

Chicanos Por La Causa, the Yuma County Superior Court, the Yuma County Bar Association and the Mexican Consulate organized the event.