Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Maria is a very quiet, private person but one day she brought a book to us to ask for help in studying. It was for her citizenship test! She had studied very hard and knew the correct answers better than we did. Is getting legal citizenship easy? No.
There were 100 questions she had to know the answers to AND know a little about the answer she gave. There was also a section that would be free-form and would test her knowledge of English. In the end, she was asked only 5 random questions and the interviewer told her she did just great. But we knew she would.
We went to San Antonio for the ceremony where her citizenship was granted. An interesting part of the ceremony was when the judge named off alphabetically each country represented and asked the people from those countries to stand. A lot of countries were named.
The good news is that Maria is now a US citizen. The bad news is that she didn't understand about registering ahead of time to be able to vote and can't vote today. She thought she had to show her passport to prove she was a citizen and her passport hadn't arrived before the deadline to register. She had listened to the candidates' ads on TV (was not happy with all the mud-slinging) and was getting robo-phone calls -- I told her "Now you really are an American!"
Granting amnesty to illegal immigrants and their children would be a nice gesture but how does that balance out for someone who paid for a lawyer to help her get her documents right, paid for a passport, studied hard, learned English, took a test, and finally appeared at a ceremony to be awarded her legal citizenship?
Please vote today. Maria would want you to.