The process was long – it took me close to 18 years, but the final steps (civics/English tests, interviews etc.) were nowhere as arduous as the media makes them out to be. If I can’t answer 6 out of 10 questions from a previously given set of 100 questions, and read and write one simple sentence of English, then I don’t deserve to be a Citizen. Period. I am sure a bunch of people will disagree with me on that score, but the INS has even provisions for the elderly and for those who can’t read/write/speak English fluently, so the argument is pretty weak. Throughout this process, the much maligned INS has been the most professional and easy to work with government organization I have had to deal with. I don’t know if this was a case of me being just lucky or the fact that you always hear the one horror story on the news compared to the thousands of success stories.
And yes, the illegal immigration debate does hit close to home for someone like me. Say what you want about economic refugees, but walking across the border and being given “legal” status does make a mockery of all the waiting I had to do to become a Citizen.
God Bless the United States of America, and “Thank You” to the Greatest country in the world. I look forward to being a responsible and productive citizen of this great nation.