The National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) is offering courses to help students attain citizenship in the United States, the school announced this week. The courses, which accompany English and GED courses on their San Antonio campus, are meant to teach residents to avoid citizenship scams.
According to Mexican newspaper El Universal Nacion, the course will begin in the university’s San Antonio branch within the next week. It will teach civics, American history, and how to avoid falling for citizenship scams. University spokesperson Jake Pacheco announced the event and told Notimex that the course will be a “compliment” to other English language and American history courses on campus and is meant to aid those already on “track for citizenship.”
The course will last 30 hours, according to CBS San Antonio, and will cover every requirement to pass the U.S. citizenship test. The first term of the course began on February 11, will end on April 15, and costs residents $110.00. Should it be a successful test case, the university expects to continue providing it.
Noting that many students who attend this university are also learning to get by in the United States after matriculating at the satellite campus, Pacheco described them as particularly vulnerable to con artists offering a “fast track to citizenship” in exchange for exorbitant amounts of money. “There are many scammers around with the hopes of making a quick buck,” he noted.
While the university is not working in an official capacity for the government of Mexico, its offer to aid Mexican-Americans in establishing U.S. citizenship is in line with the government’s attempt to make immigration between the two countries easier. The government, however, has attempted to work more toward helping undocumented immigrants remain in the United States than helping those legally in the United States establish their citizenship. The Mexican legislature passed a resolution last month, for example, urging the United States to push forward immigration reform for those illegally in the country. Members of the American Congress have also attempted to propose new ways to strengthen the ties between the two countries. One recent congressional proposition even urged the creation of a high-speed rail linking San Antonio to Monterrey, Mexico.