Thousands become Americans in L.A.

http://blogging.la/archives/images/2007/09/immigrants-thumb.jpgSpotted this en route to NextFest at the L.A. Convention Center, and it totally warmed my heart: Thousands of people, from every nation you could imagine, waiting on line in the lobby for their citizenship swearing-in ceremonies to begin.

People were coming through in several huge groups – this was the 10 a.m. group, and another came along at 1 p.m. as I was leaving.

More photos after the jump …

http://blogging.la/archives/images/2007/09/immigrationpano-thumb.jpg

http://blogging.la/archives/images/2007/09/certificates-thumb.jpgThey came with children, parents, loved ones and friends – most of them dressed in their very best. An electric buzz passed among them and through the air of the lobby, tinged with a dozen flavors of cologne and perfume.

Outside, clever vendors hawked leatherette binders designed to hold the holy grail for so many immigrants- the U.S. citizenship certificate.

Now, imagine the thousands more who want to become citizens, but are still fighting the hopelessly broken naturalization process to legally join our society. Think we can push Congress to do what it takes to streamline the process, fix the flaws and double or triple the crowd here in the coming years?

http://blogging.la/archives/images/2007/09/certificate-thumb.jpg

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5 Replies to “Thousands become Americans in L.A.”

  1. Nice to see people stick through to the end to accomplish their dreams. My wifes grandparents did that even with crossing the border on foot through Mexicali under questionable permission. If you want it bad enough you can get it done within the system even though it is full of hoops and hurdles.

  2. I sent in my citizenship application in July, and the Department of Homeland Security STILL hasn’t deposited my check. I know it got there because I sent it certified mail.

    The application form is insane. You have to list every single trip outside the country since becoming a permanent resident and count the days. That was the most infuriating because I’m sure they enter all those dates into a computer which can count them. Instead I had to write a quick script to do it.

    Also I had to declare that I’m not a drunkard. That was my favorite.

  3. Why, drunkenness is a fine old American tradition. I can’t imagine why they’d want to screen out drunkards.

    Meanwhile, I’m burning offerings to the federal mailroom gods for the swift handling of your paperwork. Here, hold this monkey’s paw and repeat after me …

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