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01.02 What Is Citizenship?

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Submitted By sxwilson
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Today I was privileged enough to conduct a fictional interview with myself playing as Isabella Garcia. Isabella was born in Mexico and has been living in America for 15 years.

Q. What inspired you to become a U.S. citizen?
A. In Mexico, my life was not very great. I was struggling with jobs and money. I was intrigued with the many opportunities for jobs and the freedom in America and I wanted a better future for my future children.

Q. What steps did you have to take as part of the naturalization process
A. First I met with a counselor and he explained to me more of what the naturalization process was and how tough and long it would be. First, I had to take a class to earn English and to learn about American history and government. Then after countless classes and long nights studying I went to take my INS exam. I studied a lot so I wasn’t too nervous. During they asked me questions about my background and many questions about the U.S history and government. I answered all the questions correctly passed! Shortly after I went into a different room and recited the Oath of Loyalty. I was finally a citizen of the United States.

Q. How would you describe how you felt about the process?
A. The process was very long and I tried my best to be patient but it was hard at some points. I spent so much time studying and practicing, but the whole time I just thought of all the original reason I came here—for a better future for me and my children.

Q. How has gaining citizenship changed your life? Is your daily life different because of gaining citizenship?
A. I am now a legal citizen of the United States and have all the benefits that come along with it. I can vote, and have no fear of being deported. My daily life has not changed too much because I kept many of the same customs as I did in Mexico, but also have adopted some American customs.

Q. Do you feel the process was worthwhile?
A. Yes, it feels great to be able to say that I passed the INS exam and all the requirements to become a U.S. citizen.

Q. If you had to, would you do it again? Please explain.
A. Yes, of course! I love it here in America and my life is much better here for me and my children.

Q. Do you sometimes miss being in Mexico?
A. Not too much; I do sometimes miss the friends I had but then I remember that I have it so much better here in America.

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