Becoming an American

On July 20th 2007, I took the formal oath to become a Citizen of the United States of America. I came to this country in the fall of 1989 and have lived here half my life. The first thing I have to say is that I don’t believe in “hyphenated” Americans. In saying so, I don’t believe I am in any way forgetting my roots or disrespecting the Country of my origin. America is a unique country as it is the only Nation born out of and tied together by an “idea” rather than a piece of land. I am proud to say I have always shared in that idea and those values and am proud to now formally call them my own.

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.

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3 Responses to Becoming an American

  1. Kamal Sikka says:

    Are you looking forward to voting in the Election in 2008? I am, but hoping to come an American citizen this year. Guess who.

  2. Hash says:

    Hiya Bunty or should I say Kamal? Does anyone ever call you Bunty anymore? 🙂

    I am definitely looking forward to voting in this years election. Should be a very interesting race IMO. Good luck on the citizenship.


  3. Anonymous says:

    Well Hash, I went through the citizenship interview on Tuesday and but for the three-hour wait for the interview, it went well. Changing the citizenship has been emotionally difficult.

    Later, Bunty

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