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American Citizen

In light of the recent holiday, I reflected on when I became a citizen.

If you aksed me in elementary school what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would tell you that I was going to be the first Asian female President of the United States.  But then I learned in school that you had to be natural born citizen of the US and my hopes and dreams were crushed.

My father and younger sister (born here) were citizens, but my mother and I weren’t until I was in high school.  I obtained my citizenship right before applying to colleges.  If you’re a minor under 18, if your parent got citizenship, you got it automatically.  So my mom studied for the test and passed, and I officially became a citizen when I was 17.  No more green card and resident alien jokes.

I don’t remember much of the oath I had to take, but I remembered that it said you had to fight on the US side in case of war.  Here is the actual excerpt:

I hereby declare, on oath,
that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen;
that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic;
that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same;
that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law;
that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law;
that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and
that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.

I really hope I get called for Jury Duty someday.  I know it’s not glamorous, but I would be interested in seeing the process, and also take part in the system.

Yes it’s cliche, but I genuinely feel very lucky that my parents immigrated here because America really is a place where opportunities are endless and there is hope for a better life.   I also get chills whenever the national anthem is played anywhere.  Don’t get me wrong- there are a lot of things wrong with this country.  But it’s our country and there’s a lot of good in it too.

Do you remember that Simpson’s episode where as soon as Apu gets his citizenship, he asks “Which way to the welfare office?” Makes me laugh.

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