I usually don’t publish much about my personal experiences with the American bureaucracy, let alone with the US Immigration Services. Just last week I’ve read that some news publishers are studying changes to their stylebook for the term “illegal immigrants”, which would be changed to “undocumented immigrants”. It’s not my case. I’m a Legal Alien. Or should I say “Documented Immigrant”?
To be a Legal Alien requires work and patience. After all the endless paper work, originals and copies of the same thing sent over and over again for each stage of the Legal Residence process, I have now almost reached the end of the road. Not that it has been complicated. To tell the truth, the system works very well if you have your papers in order, your shit together and if you pay your taxes. Oh, there are the fees too. They would not touch your application without first cashing that check. Fair. Nobody at the Immigration makes unnecessary personal questions beyond what you have to put down on the forms, which is almost EVERYTHING about you. In fact, my love affair with the US Immigration has always been a happy one; indeed we’ve never had to discuss the relationship.
Last week though, I had my interview for Naturalization, which entailed a meeting with the Immigration Officer to take civic and language tests, basic requirements for anyone who wants to become a US citizen. The officer was very efficient, clean, polite and straight forward. I answered the questions and passed the test. The Oath Ceremony is scheduled for the end of the month, together with many others who decided to become citizens.
It is a long and tiresome journey. I got home after the interview and my whole body ached, like I’ve been ran over by an 18-wheeler truck. I’d never thought that at the end, I’d feel this way.
I think I have a legality hang-over.