Level: Beginner / Intermediate
ILRC attorneys and guest speaker Bill Bliss will give an overview of the USCIS naturalization test redesign announced in December 2022. The redesign proposes a reading-based multiple-choice test to evaluate a naturalization applicant’s knowledge of civics, instead of the current oral questions. A new test of English knowledge would involve photo prompts that an applicant would need to describe. This would replace the current evaluation of English which occurs during the interview as the officer asks questions and verifies information from the N-400 naturalization application. Educators of low-literacy adults believe that these changes would make the test significantly more difficult for applicants. This is a free webinar.
Eric Cohen, Executive Director - Immigrant Legal Resource Center
Eric Cohen has been with the ILRC since 1988, and has been its Executive Director since 2007. He has extensive experience training attorneys, paralegals, community advocates, and organizers on a variety of immigration law, immigrants’ rights, and leadership development topics. Eric is a national expert on naturalization and citizenship law and is the primary author of the ILRC’s manual entitled, Naturalization and U.S. Citizenship: The Essential Legal Guide. Eric helped develop ILRC's community model for naturalization workshops. Additionally, Eric has worked on voter outreach and education programs for naturalized citizens.
Prior to working at the ILRC, Eric worked with the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, Labor Immigrant Assistance Project where he worked on legalization and union organizing campaigns.
Eric obtained a B.A. degree in History from Colorado College and a J.D. degree from Stanford Law School. He is conversant in Spanish and is a member of the State Bar of California.
Peggy Gleason, Senior Staff Attorney - Immigrant Legal Resource Center
Peggy Gleason, who has dedicated her career to immigrant rights, joined ILRC in 2019 as a senior staff attorney in Washington, D.C.
She worked most recently in the Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties at the Department of Homeland Security, dealing with civil rights complaints concerning U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Earlier, she worked on family and humanitarian immigration policy and legal issues for the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman and on legal access issues for the Department of Justice Executive Office of Immigration Review.
Before her time with the federal government, she was a senior attorney for Catholic Legal Immigration Network’s training and technical support section for 23 years, providing technical assistance and training to CLINIC’s affiliated programs and other nonprofits nationwide. She also represented immigrant clients of Catholic Charities Immigration Legal Services for the Archdiocese of Washington. She began fulltime practice of immigration law while working for the Colorado Rural Legal Services Farmworker Program.
She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a B.A. in Ibero-American Studies and earned her J.D. at Antioch School of Law in Washington, D.C. She is a member of the Colorado Bar.
Peggy is a frequent speaker on immigration law topics and contributor to publications. She speaks Spanish.
Bill Bliss, Language and Civics Educator - Language & Communication Associates