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PLANO (CBSDFW.COM) – A workshop in Plano dedicated to helping residents obtain legal citizenship status in the United States saw a surge of attendees and President Donald Trump’s travel ban may have been a motivating factor.

In what was standing room only at the workshop Saturday, organizers who have been running it for 10 years said they had triple the turnout from past years.

Organizers welcomed anyone to the workshop regardless of their immigration status and make them feel comfortable learning about the process of becoming a citizen.

Those who attended received free legal advice from immigration attorneys on how to file citizenship applications.

Shaheen Salam with Plano’s Multicultural Outreach Roundtable said she meets many legal residents who feel overwhelmed by the process of becoming a citizen and put it off for years.

Salam also understands why the sudden surge of attendees at Saturday’s workshop.

“Well i’m going to be very frank. Because of the political climate, people are worried,” said Salam. “Sometimes green card holders… they’ve been here for a long time, and they’re procrastinating the process to become citizens. But now there is a sense of urgency.”

Salam said she hates for fear to be the motivating factor, but she’s encouraged by the spike in interest in legal citizenship.

(©2017 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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