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Woman must pay $555 to replace citizenship document after laminating it

Posted at 6:52 PM, Sep 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-24 09:09:17-04

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DENVER -- A Denver woman was so proud to become a U.S. citizen she tried to protect her certificate of citizenship by laminating it, but that is now holding up her ability to get a passport.

Mentee Clark is a housekeeper at Hallmark Nursing Center in Denver and has worked hard to become a citizen.

“I was so excited and so happy because I have been trying for eight years since 2012,” Clark said.

She laminated her certificate of citizenship to hang on her wall.

When she applied for a passport, the office denied her because they only accept original, unaltered documents.

The cost of a replacement is $555.

HOW TO HELP: To give to the Denver7 Gives Fund and to Mentee Clark, click here.

“They said 'it costs us to duplicate it,' I said, 'it does not cost that much to duplicate something,' 'well that is the rule,'” Aileena Wolfe, a resident of Hallmark Nursing Center, told Denver7.

Wolfe wants to help Clark.

She needs the passport to return to Libya to help her family.

“Her husband was beaten by four people and now he is brain damaged and can’t work; she wants to see her sister and get help for her husband in her country,” Wolfe said.

Laminating original documents like birth certificates, certificates of citizenship and even Social Security cards is considered altering or damaging the documents. Many government agencies will not accept the documents.

If you would like to help Mentee get home to her family and replace her citizenship document, we have set up a Denver7 Gives fund for donations. Click on the any of the links in this article to help.

Denver7 has created an easy way for people to help others in our community. We have featured the stories of people who need help and now you help them with a cash donation through Denver7 Gives. One hundred percent of contributions to the fund will be used to help people in our local community.