Immigration- The Official Version

On a hot, unappealing day in San Antonio Texas, we stumbled into the US Citizenship and Immigration Center . We were taking a tour and happened upon the ceremony of naturalization for over two hundred newly coined American Citizens. Familys and relatives of the naturalized were spread out around the center and I asked this one family if I could take their picture. They all proudly said : “Of course !” The relative receiving his American citizenship was the husband/father /uncle of the group ( formerly a Mexican, now an American)

Demurely, one of the girls( not in the picture) smiled at me with her large Spainish eyes aglow and asked me a question: ” How many senators and represenrtaives are there in both houses of the U.S Congress…. ? ” She then gigled.. I stumbled for a moment and replied 535 … 100 senators and 435 representatives” She laughed and said ” Congratulations, you now qualify to become an American citizen” !!

I can remember a few instances when my pride in being part of this country was as great as it was onthat day, watching the raised hands and hearing the honeyed toned acccented allegiances being sworn to. Maybe watching the changing of the guard at the tomb of the unknown soilder, as a thnunderstorm approached, came as close.

If you ever get a chance to watch the naturalization ceremony dont miss it, but bring a handerchief.


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