Proud to be an American

July 17, 2015

Over 100 people from Angola to Zimbabwe took the oath of citizenship today in Florida. Boboy's sweet and adorable mom, Clarita was one of them!

The ceremony was far more impressive than the simple one Boboy participated in 20 years earlier.  Each individual stood when their country was read from the long list of names of the countries that they represented. There was moving speech with the new citizens waving their flags and cheering, a video message from President Obama, and music from our national anthem to Lee Greenwood's, Proud to Be An American. Every participant was registered to vote.

It was hard to realize that the individuals leading the ceremony were not professional actors, but were USCIS officials. They rocked!

The best part of the event was the pride and joy that overflowed from the room. Boboy's mom told us how she got every question on the citizenship test correct. That's not an easy feat. I give that test to my students every year as an introduction to a unit on immigration. Most score horribly. Not Clarita - she rattled off the questions and answers. She told us how the official smiled as she sang The Star Spangled Banner to him. 

Family and friends took photos of the ceremony and event. Some who were unaccompanied handed me their cell phones to take their photos. All were the same –broad smiles and tears of joy as they held up the American flag.

For too much of the time I am am angry at my country. Angry that the elected officials do not understand how student loans are burying our young people under mountains of debt; how millions of us work many overtime hours and are not being paid for them; how politicians are destroying our public schools; how our broken immigration system is hurting families and our nation; and on and on. I cannot remember the last time I was actually proud to be an American. Today I was.



Anonymous said...

And they should be commended for doing it the "LEGAL WAY"!! Immigrants who choose to "APPLY" and wait for admission into the United States should be awarded with some type of incentive (maybe a one year income tax break) for following the rules. Those that choose otherwise (i.e., illegal immigrants) who sneak into the country should be deported and any and all assets gained while residing in the United States should be confiscated under penalty. The United States needs to implement the E-VERIFY Program from a "voluntary program for employers" into a mandatory program. Take away the incentive (employment) and "border jumpers" will be less likely to come here. The other question that needs to be asked is, "why can't immigration be based on the unemployment rate"? Why are we allowing so many people into the United States when we have such a high rate of unemployment & social disparity in this country?
If you look at the intitial application "test" to immigrate into Canada, you need to achieve a certain "point score". This score is based on your age, your education level, your skills, etc. Why is it that the United States which is more developed then Canada, allows just about anyone through the gates???? Maybe we should send all these "new U.S. citizens" to the CNMI to solve their "labor shortage". Now that is one "government program" I would like to see implemented!!!

captain said...

@3:41, some of your opinions I concur, BUT the real problem concerning employment in the US is the fact that many companies in the US are having problems getting applicants for certain job, not much unlike the NMI.
Example; years ago I was asked by one of my employees in the NMI (a naturalized US Cit.) for a recommendation for a job he applied for at a Caterpillar Dealership in the US.

I wrote his letter and as it turned out I had done much business and knew the person that the letter was addressed to so since I had not had any contact in years I decided to call the man.
What was relayed to me about employment in the US at that time was that many big companies cannot find the people that want to get dirty, most applicants all want to work in the office or a supervisor capacity.
Many large companies have many "slots" available to hire sop many aliens under a work visa. Although they are not allowed to hire "illegals" many do anyway.
The other area is the Agriculture, how many Americans will work in that back breaking industry??

Oh BTW, there is a bill to lower the Commercial Drivers license (CDL) age in the US to 18 yrs from 21 yrs as there is a problem getting heavy rig driers.

captain said...

Congrats to Baboy's mother. (and all the rest)

Wendy Doromal said...

Hello Captain

So nice to hear from you. I agree with your comment. The agriculture industry would collapse without foreign workers. A couple years ago Arturo Rodriquez, president of the farm workers union, challenged U.S. citizens to "take my job". There were no takers. So if people like to eat, they should thank a farm worker -an immigrant farm worker that is.

Anonymous said...

I would agree that some jobs go "unfilled" or are "unwanted" in the United States, but I should clarify that it is by no means an excuse for an employer to hire someone who is "undocumented". The government has failed miserably to implement a program where immigrants can easily come to the border, register, get a background investigation, check medical history, obtain a "passsport like" document that would allow them to "obtain" jobs in the United States (obtain jobs, not automatically obtain citizenship). I have news for those that believe some jobs go "unfilled" because of a lack of skilled workers. Silicon Valley was known to harbor a preference over "foreign workers" on a visa rather then hiring equally qualified U.S. workers. This is a problem easily solved by mandating employers have to advertise and recruit from the local market before hiring a "foreigner". Trouble is (and the CNMI is a poster child for this), sometimes those job ads are "inflated" to keep out qualified local residents. As far as the problem with the U.S. having a shortage of skilled labor - plenty of blame to go around in all directions for that one. CNMI is also a poster child for that issue as well (ditto on the blame game). Bottom line, undocumented workers are exploited. Registered workers could and should be protected under the auspices of the Department of Labor with all the benefits granted to U.S. workers (i.e, health, safety, legal recourse, et al.) To sum it up, no one has the right to ignore the "sovereignty" of a "border" and deem themselves above the rights of that contries citizens. What I find so insulting is the audaciousness of certain individuals who mistakenly interpret that "putting ones feet on anothers soil" automatically grants them the full rights and benefits of those that live on that soil (including citizenship). If just being a "worker" is the litmus test of what the value has become of obtaining our U.S. citizenship, then I would say that we have an unforgivable apology owed to every veteran who has served this country.

Bucky Taotaotasi said...

That's not true, Wendy. Four people took the jobs.