December 11, 2023

Immigration Green Card

Immigration Is Good For You

26 years waiting for 6 questions: My citizenship journey

5 min read

Earlier this month, I wrote about my journey to this promised land and 26 years of waiting to reach the moment when I finally take my U.S. citizenship test.

Having been educated at an American university and being a multilingual journalist for 23 years, my knowledge of U.S. government and history was enough to be confident about acing the test. Still, I was a bit nervous — a common feeling among immigrants interacting with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

No matter who it is — whether someone with a doctorate or an elderly immigrant who barely speaks English — everyone gets nervous, said Nora Allen, the USCIS immigration services officer who conducted my citizenship interview and test last Thursday.

In the days leading up to the interview, I’d taken the practice tests and reviewed the 100 civics questions, of which any 10 could be asked on the test. You need to get six answers correct to pass.

It came down to six randomly chosen questions and an unusually kind and friendly immigration services officer who took care and interest in my coming to America story.

If you’d like to test your own civics knowledge, here are the questions I was asked:

• When is the last day you can send in federal income tax forms?



• Where is the Statue of Liberty?

• What is one power of the federal government?

• What is the supreme law of the land?

• If the president can no longer serve, who becomes president?

• Who was the first president of the United States?

Having passed the test, soon I will make a promise of my own to my chosen country when I take the oath of citizenship and pledge my allegiance.

Protecting Dreamers

Last week, the U.S. House approved language protecting “Documented Dreamers.” It amends the Child Status Protection Act to protect dependent children of green card applicants and long-term dependent children of employment-based nonimmigrants from aging out of the legal immigration system.

Due to their lawful status in the United States until they turn 21, “Documented Dreamers” are excluded from the temporary deportation protections and work authorization afforded by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals initiative, which requires a recipient to have “no lawful status on June 15, 2012.”



The amendment was based on legislation co-authored by U.S. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi of Schaumburg.

“Due to the green card backlog and bottlenecks in our immigration system, many dependent children of green card applicants and employment-based visa holders who have lived most of their lives in the United States are aging out of our legal immigration system as they turn 21,” Krishnamoorthi said. “Our amendment would end that, protecting these young people from self-deportation so they can continue to learn, work, and contribute to the country they have known as home.”

Immigrant resources

Latino leaders from Highland Park and Highwood will gather at 1 p.m. Monday at the Highland Park Public Library, 494 Laurel Ave., to discuss resources and services available to immigrant communities affected by the Fourth of July mass shooting in Highland Park.

The news conference is being held in partnership with the City of Highland Park, the Highland Park Public Library, the Highwood Public Library and Community Center and more than 12 groups serving area immigrant communities.

Eid fests

Thousands of Muslims gathered this weekend for the Islamic Circle of North America Chicago’s three-day Eid Fest that culminated Sunday at the DuPage County Fairgrounds in Wheaton.

Suburban Muslims have two upcoming festivals to celebrate Eid al-Adha, which was observed on Saturday, July 9. It is one of two major Islamic holidays observed at the end of the annual pilgrimage of Hajj to Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

Masjid al Huda in Schaumburg and the Islamic Center of Naperville will each hold community Eid fests on July 23 and Aug. 7, respectively.

The Al Huda Eid Fest will run from 1 to 7 p.m. Saturday at the mosque, 1081 Irving Park Road in Schaumburg. Activities include a bouncy house, obstacle course, pony rides, rock climbing, games and food. Admission is free, but there are charges for rides and food. For more information, call (331) 245-7226.

The Islamic Center of Naperville Eid Fest will run from noon to 7 p.m. Aug. 7, at the Naperville Yard, 1607 Legacy Circle. It will include food, a bazaar, inflatables, face painting and other activities. Entry fee is $5 not including the cost of games and food. Admission is free for children under 2 years.

Round Lake resident Rocio Sanchez recently was named one of the 40 under 40 Emerging Nurse Leaders in Illinois by the Illinois Nurses Foundation. In April, Sanchez was named Advocate Condell Medical Center's 2021 Nurse of the Year.

Round Lake resident Rocio Sanchez recently was named one of the 40 under 40 Emerging Nurse Leaders in Illinois by the Illinois Nurses Foundation. In April, Sanchez was named Advocate Condell Medical Center’s 2021 Nurse of the Year.
– Courtesy of Advocate Condell Medical Center

Leading nurse

Rocio Sanchez of Round Lake recently was named one of the 40 under 40 Emerging Nurse Leaders in Illinois by the Illinois Nurses Foundation.

Sanchez, a first-generation immigrant and first-generation college graduate, began working toward her nursing degree while in high school and has worked as a nurse for nearly six years.

In April, Sanchez was named Advocate Condell Medical Center’s 2021 Nurse of the Year. She chairs the Libertyville hospital’s Shared Governance Council and the Professional Development Committee, and serves as treasurer-elect of the Hispanic Nurses Association.

Sanchez participated on a medical mission trip to provide care to an underserved region of El Salvador before the COVID-19 pandemic. During the pandemic, she volunteered and trained to work in the emergency department and intensive care unit on Advocate Condell’s critical care float team.

“I want to give back in any way I can — especially as relates to my Hispanic culture,” Sanchez said.

Seniors quinceañera

Elgin-area older adults will have an opportunity to experience a “quinceañera,” or “fiesta de quince años,” a coming-of-age party traditionally celebrated by Latin American families when a girl turns 15 years old.

A quinceañera is a celebration of life, and a collective representation of love and support. The program will begin at 11:30 a.m. July 27, at Lugar, 205 Fulton St., Elgin. It will include music, entertainment and a fashion show. A bilingual program will be offered in the afternoon, with a special performance by Folkloric Dance Group Quetzali.

There will be a meet and greet with Illinois Department on Aging Director Paula Basta.

The event, sponsored by the Elgin Police Department and Senior Services Associates, is open to seniors of all cultures, and backgrounds.

Register by calling Senior Services Associates at (847) 741-0404.

Disabilities law

July is Disability Pride Month and July 26 marks the 32nd anniversary of Americans With Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, transportation, public accommodations, commercial facilities, telecommunications and state and local government services.

Then-President George H.W. Bush signed it into law in 1990.

Today, 40.8 million, or 12.7%, of the U.S. civilian noninstitutionalized population has a disability, according to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey from 2016-2020.

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