This 4th of July, we are celebrating the stories of three of our clients who recently became citizens and the unique circumstances that led them to choose to become American.
Originally from Mexico, Alicia has lived in this country since 1972, and has loved having permanent residency. But, over the years, her love for this nation has continued to grow. She began to feel a responsibility to help shape this country through voting and so she made the decision to pursue U.S. Citizenship. Alicia says, "The ceremony was very moving ... and [I] was very touched to be able to become a citizen." Not only a client of the Clinic, Alicia also works as our Receptionist, helping those who come through our doors receive the services they need just like she did. She says now, "I am glad and proud to say I am an American!"
Monina came to the United States from the Philippines in 2012. She was engaged to an American man and, with the help of the Clinic, she soon gained her Green Card. As soon as she was able to apply for her U.S. Citizenship, Monina again sought out the assistance of the Clinic. By this point, she and her husband had a small child, and this was a huge impetus to Monina moving forward with Naturalization. Upon becoming an American, Monina finally felt secure in her new identity. She says, "I had the right to stay legally in [the] USA with no fear at all to be separated in any chance from my son." Moreover, Monina is excited about the possibilities granted her by being a U.S. Citizen. She says, "I’m stable here in the land of opportunities and hope--my homeland now."
Opiew came to this country after living in a Kenyan refugee camp for over 9 years. He had fled violence and persecution by the government in his home country of Ethiopia. With the help of the Clinic, over time, he was able to bring the rest of his family to this country as well, to keep them safe from ongoing violence. Although he and his family are still eagerly awaiting his family's naturalization applications to be approved, very recently, Opiew received his U.S. Citizenship. He is now proud to call himself an American.