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Running Head: ARTIFACT #2 1

Artifact #2

Megan M. Pabst

College of Southern Nevada

Diversity Assignment: Immigrant Interview


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Diversity Assignment: Immigrant Interview

An immigrant is a person who comes to live permanently in a county that is foreign to

them. For example, if a person who was born in Mexico becomes a resident of the United States

they are an immigrant. The immigration process is much more complicated and complex than it

should be. There are many steps that need to be taken and certain eligibility requirements to

become a citizen or apply or naturalization. You need to be 18 and have been a resident for 5

years or 3 years if you are married to a citizen. Next you need to complete forms in order to

apply for naturalization. After you send in your documents, fees and application you just have to

wait until everything is processed. Part of the process also includes being fingerprinted and

receiving a background check as well. Once all of that is complete, you are interviewed and take

the English and civics test. Finally you get a decision on if you application is accepted or denied.

If accepted, the next steps include taking the Oath of Allegiance to the United States (USCIS).

Like I previously said, the citizenship process is very long and complex.

The person I chose to interview for this assignment is a coworker of mine, Alicia

Gonzalez-Hernandez. English is her second language and she is still in the process of learning it

so it was a little difficult interviewing her, but we were able to get through it. Alicia was born and

raised in Mexico. The language spoken there is Spanish. Alicia explained to me that her life was

good in Mexico and she had a great childhood. She lived with her parents, grandparents, and

three siblings. She said their household was very hardworking and family oriented. This doesnt

surprise me considering the most important thing is their family values, and forming a cohesive

relationship with parents and to build on their cultural values (p. 175).

When Alicia turned 16, she started dating a boy that she had grown up with. Carlos was

three years older than she was, but she said her parents were okay with them dating and with the
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age difference because he and his family were close family friends. Soon after, he got a job in

California and was able to receive residency in the United States. Alicia stayed in Mexico while

he lived and worked in California but he came back to Mexico every other weekend to visit. This

continued on for two years until he was finally tired of it and decided to marry Alicia so she

could move with him. Alicia says she loved him she they were married in Mexico then she

moved to California with him. She said the only reason she came to the United States was to be

with Carlos because he was tired of traveling back to see her and he wanted them to be together.

She moved here when she was 18 years old and after a few years she started the process to

become a citizen.

Alicia said the process to become a citizen was very long and difficult. It took her 5 years

to get citizenship and back then it cost her $400. I asked what she had to do exactly and she

wasnt able to remember everything she had to do because it was almost 50 years ago but she did

remember having to take a test. She said she needed to take and pass a test about U.S. history and

about the government. The test wasnt that hard because I studied and memorized every

question, the hard part was that it was in English, Alicia said. It is hard to wrap my head around

the fact that in order for an immigrant to get citizenship they need to pass a test about U.S.

history and government, I dont even think I would be able to pass a test like that and Ive lived

here my whole life.

Alicia and Carlos had three children together, two girls and one boy. Carlos ended up not

enjoying living in the United States so he moved back to Mexico to live with his mother. Alicia

said that he never got his green card/citizenship, just continued living here off of his employment

residency. She also said that they never got divorced but havent been together for years. Neither

of them are with anyone else. When I asked her what he didnt like about America she didnt
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really have anything to say, she just kept saying she didnt know. Personally I think maybe he

was under the impression that life in the states would be easier but it was merely the same. Alicia

decided to stay in the United States because she loved it here and wanted her children to be

raised here.

Alicia shared with me that her favorite thing about the United States are all of the

opportunities we have here. She specifically said the opportunities for the children and students.

I really admire the fact that her favorite thing has nothing to do with herself or anything

materialistic. That is just the perfect example of showing the kind of person Alicia is. She is one

of the sweetest, nurturing people I have ever met. Especially to minorities and those she can

relate to. Page 170 talks about if we made family important in school as it is to the Hispanic

American culture they could possibly succeeded more (p. 170). The most difficult thing about

being in the United States for Alicia is being away from her family that is still in Mexico and

also learning English has been really hard for her to grasp. However she didnt even fully try to

start learning it until a few years ago and it is still hard for her to understand and speak English.

According to our book, one way we can help Hispanic American students academically would be

to understand language problems and differences are partly responsible for most academic

problems (p. 180). This doesnt only apply for students but for adults as well. I know many

people dont like that we have immigrants here in the United States but I honestly dont see

anything wrong with people coming here legally and trying to make a better life for themselves

and their family. I also think that something needs to be done in order to make the

citizenship/VISA/green card process much simpler and faster as well.

References
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10 Steps to Naturalization. (n.d.). Retrieved December 02, 2016, from

https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/files/M-1051.pdf

The Immigrant Visa Process. (n.d.). Retrieved December 02, 2016, from

https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/immigrate/immigrant-process.html