What does it take to become a US Citizen?

As some of you may have heard, I am now officially a US citizen — an endeavor that has taken almost eight years and several thousand dollars to complete, despite the fact that my wife was born and raised in the US of A, and that I have lived here for over 12 years.

One of the platforms that both parties are debating on this election year is whether or not to give amnesty to illegal immigrants (and perhaps amnesty is not the right word since these people have not been officially convicted of any crime). Point being…Democrats want to pursue some kind of “pardon” for all illegal immigrants, while Republicans want them to “wait in line like everybody else.” Well, having immigrated to this country myself, I have some opinions on the matter which may or may not interest you.

I believe it is no secret that the immigration process in the US is broken. The country would simply cease to function without immigrant labor — the reasons for this can take a whole day to discuss, but suffice it to say that in general, immigrants tend to do the jobs that most citizens would shun and refuse to do.

First of all, I don’t believe in rewarding illegal behavior — therefore, a pardon doesn’t seem right in my mind. Particularly because all the people who have started the process legally, and have been waiting for years — well, let’s face it…nobody likes someone cutting in line. But above all, it’s not like the government is gonna pay them back for all the filing fees and expenses that they have incurred already.

Having said that, however, I do believe that something needs to be done! The immigration process is a slow, incredibly inefficient maze of paper-work and appointments (my papers were “lost” three times and my fingerprints were taken at least 4 times throughout this process). So if I were king of the world (which I’m clearly not), I would overhaul BCIS yet again and re-think the laws that are currently in place for immigration. That’s hardly a solution, I know, but I don’t believe either party has provided a real solution yet — and to be frank, I have serious doubts that either party even cares. Once the elections are over, the immigration issue will again relegate to some dark corner of the elected official’s mind for sure.

So…on that note, I’m so glad that this process is over for me. Unfortunately, my siblings are trying to do the same thing and I have to say the process seems impossibly difficult and discouraging. I would love nothing more than to help expedite their efforts, but the laws that are currently in place are so messed up that I can’t. Something needs to be done, and it is my hope that someone much smarter and important than me can make their voice heard loud enough for the government to care.

Finally, I am grateful to be a citizen — but I can’t say I am overjoyed. After all, I now have to watch the rest of my family “tread water” and I haven’t so much as a stick to extend in their direction to help them. What a crock.

If you’re unfamiliar with the immigration process, here is a hillarious…and sadly accurate representation that may shed some light for you. Sigh.