Yesterday I became an United States citizen and I can't fully express how wonderful and empowering that huge step I made makes me feel. During the ceremony, I was one of 76 immigrants from 35 countries, and we all stood proudly, raising our right hand giving our oath to our new country - our new home: United States of America. As a now naturalized citizen, I was too excited to fill out my voter's registration form yesterday. Many of us new Americans filed in line after the ceremony to register to vote for the first time and we all received the proud congratulations from the reps that accepted our forms. And it got me to thinking of the so many born Americans that don't exercise their right to vote. That don't truly see how privileged they are to be Americans. We naturalized citizens sacrificed a lot to receive our certificates as proof of our new American citizenship and couldn't wait to express it. Unfortunately there are so many born citizens that take the right to vote for granted, among other things.
I've heard people make mention of how foreigners come into America, creating businesses, gain wealth, then send monies back to their born countries. Or how foreigners come here to go to college, then go back to their countries well educated, creating business or landing great jobs in their homeland. These foreigners shouldn't be bashed for taking the opportunities allowed to them by the United States - instead maybe they should be seen as examples of how too, to gain from the opportunities that this great country provides for it's people. So as a new citizen, it hurts my heart to hear and see born Americans not taking the opportunities provided to them. Fought for them. Sacrificed for them. As I've seen demonstrated yesterday, America is great country to live in. Yes there are things that can be better - however it's still a country so many people wish was their home. A rich nation that I'm proud to be a part of.