I still remember this day. I was 4 years old. My mother, grandmother, and I boarded a train in the middle of the night to Washington, DC where we met my father for the Big Day.
My Big Day was a Big Deal. The shrouded details of mystery in leaving one country to enter this one are still just that, shrouded. There are many questions that still linger.
Since I was obviously a minor at the time of my naturalization, my mother filled out the questionnaire on my behalf.
Here are the questions:
- Have you married, or been widowed, separated, or divorced?
- Have you been absent from the United States?
- Have you committed any crime or offense, or been arrested, fined, or charged with the violation of any law whatsoever?
- Have you joined any organization?
- Have you become a member of the Communist Party?
- Have you claimed exemption from military service?
- Has there been any change in your willingness to bear arms on behalf of the United States; to perform non-combatant service in the armed forces of the United States; to perform work of national importance under civilian direction, if the law requires it?
- The law provides that a petitioner for naturalization shall not be regarded as a person of good moral character who, at any time after his or her petition for naturalization has been filed, has committed adultery; has been a prostitute; has procured any person for the purposes of prostitution; has been a narcotic drug addict; or has dealt in narcotic drugs illegally in any way. Have you committed such an act or been such a person?
The questions for the process of naturalization have, no doubt, changed. And the questions that still remain unanswered are still a mystery to me. I waffle between HAVING to know and TRUSTING in what I don’t. Nothing changes the result: God’s sovereign hand in literally plucking me from one part of the world and placing me in another.
Some questions answered, some not. Regardless, I have been given freedom in the Land of the Free.