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Ruth Njike: I have a voice, I have a prosthesis, I’m learning to drive, and I’m excited to vote.

I came to the United States in October, 2013 from Douala, Cameroon, the country’s economic capital. I was a winner in the diversity visa lottery. I played the diversity visa lottery every year. I’d start in October and then I’d get the result the next year in May. In May 2012 it was the fourth […]

August 12, 2020

A new survey on changing naturalization procedures finds the road to U.S. citizenship is rockier than ever

The Migration Policy Institute (MPI) released a new report in July, A Rockier Road to U.S. Citizenship? Findings of a Survey on Changing Naturalization Procedures, that sheds light on a disturbing trend observed by many naturalization service providers since the beginning of the Trump administration—it’s becoming more difficult, more time intensive, and more burdensome to […]

July 31, 2020

Carl Bergquist: Just two days before my oath ceremony, I learned that USCIS offices were closed and everything was canceled due to COVID-19.

I’m originally from Stockholm, Sweden. I first moved to the United States when I was six years old. My father was a diplomat in the Swedish foreign service. His first posting abroad after my brother and I were born was in Washington, DC. I had just turned six, my brother was four, and we were […]

July 15, 2020

Lessons from Our Virtual World Part Three

In this third and final installment of Lessons from Our Virtual World we hear from service providers in New York City where priorities have shifted in the pandemic’s devastating wake. Click here to read Part One and Part Two. GMHC and NALEO Educational Fund In New York City, where the COVID-19 pandemic has hit the […]

June 17, 2020

Lessons from Our Virtual World Part Two

In Part Two of this series of three posts we go to Atlanta, Georgia to learn how the IRC Atlanta’s virtual review pilot project is adapting to meet the new challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic. Click here to read Part One. The International Rescue Committee in Atlanta The IRC in Atlanta, Georgia, also had […]

June 16, 2020

Lessons from Our Virtual World Part One

When the coronavirus pandemic shut the doors of naturalization service providers last March, some New Americans Campaign partners were already testing remote services. But no one could have imagined the impact the quarantine would have on aspiring U.S. citizens or the legal services providers who serve them. The pandemic has created significant obstacles. People are […]

June 15, 2020

Yisel Pomier Maren: Now that I have the vote, believe me, I’m going to use it.

I am originally from Cuba. Living in Cuba the health system is completely free, and you have free education, but you don’t have any economic freedom. You cannot be in disagreement with the government there. They have just one party. You are either with the revolution, or with the revolution. You are either with Fidel, […]

June 9, 2020

Kimiko Olling: I folded 1000 cranes to express my gratitude

I am from Osaka, Japan. I came to the United States in January 2002, 18 years ago. I got a green card and I got married but I didn’t get my citizenship until last year—2019. I waited, waited, waited.  At first, I didn’t feel that I wanted to change my nationality. I would have to […]

May 11, 2020

Candida Almonte: I saw the green-eyed woman from my dream and thought to myself, “I’ve already passed this test!”

Candida Almonte, who became a U.S. citizen on December 6, 2019, told us her story with the help of Sonia Santana, an immigration program coordinator at Dominicanos USA, a New Americans Campaign partner, who translated the discussion from Spanish. Candida Almonte: I’ve lived in the United States for 18 years. I am from the Dominican […]

May 1, 2020

Abiodun Freeman: I decided to become a citizen. So I googled “citizenship.”

I’m from Sierra Leone, West Africa. I came to the United States on October 22, 2008. My dad actually brought me here. He worked for the U. S. embassy in Freetown as the ambassador’s driver for more than 15 years, and the embassy helped him get a visa to come to the United States. I […]

April 17, 2020