He’s Proud to be an American

Flag, oath
The actual flag and oath from the immigration office

By Estelle Sobel Erasmus

So I have wonderful news this week. My South African hubby, who came to this country from New Zealand for the first time in 2001, finally took the steps necessary to become a member of our great nation…and on Thursday, he was confirmed as a U.S. Citizen. It’s about time, right? I think we had an H4 Visa or something like that and he could come to America because I was here. I remember my friend trying to explain all of the different types of visas to me before he became a permanent resident. There are just so many, it’s so difficult to know which one you need. My friend told me about this page that describes each visa, which can be really helpful when someone is trying to find out How to immigrate to America legally. Ever since then, he’s been a permanent resident since 2004, a year before we became engaged and married in 2005.

This makes me happy for several reasons. Our daughter is a U.S. citizen, and I’m a U.S. citizen; so it makes sense that her daddy would be one, too. Second, now he can vote and not just give lip service to his candidate of choice (which by the way, often differs from mine, but I’m ok with that).

His experience at the office of immigration left much to be desired: Long, long lines; (our government at its finest) people who brought their entire families, and did not even dress up for their interviews (baggy jeans, with underwear sticking out a la rap star, apparently was the dress code of the day). My husband, however, dressed according to the rules, which asked applicants to avoid wearing jeans or shorts. I can’t say I’m descended from a Mayflower family, however, I know that one must show respect to the country you are emigrating to.

The interview included an English-speaking test, a writing test and a test, where the applicants had to get six questions correct out of ten questions asked, derived from a booklet (and DVD) set that included 100 Civics questions. a My hubby aced the test in 10 minutes; while others took much, much longer (if they passed at all) to complete their interviews.

Here are some random questions from the question book my husband was given to study before his interview :

1) How many amendments does the constitution have?

2) The House of Representative has how many voting members?

3) If both the President and the President can no longer serve who becomes President?

4) Who is the Chief Justice of the United States?

5) The Federalist Papers supported the passage of the U.S. Constitution. Name the writers?

6) What did Susan B. Anthony do?

Answers on the bottom

How did you do?

Please now join me in a refrain of Lee Greenwood’s Song, “G-d Bless the USA” in honor of my hubby and his new status, which my daughter and I have taken to singing every time he walks into the room.. (So far he’s still smiling).

I’m proud to be an American,
where at least I know I’m free.
And I wont forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.

And I gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today.
‘ Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.

Answers: 1) 27, 2) 435 3) The Speaker of the House 4) John Roberts 5) James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, under the pen name Publius 6) She fought for women’s rights

When did you or your relatives emigrate to America and are you proud to be an American and why?


9 thoughts on “He’s Proud to be an American”

  1. My mothers side of the family are Native Americans, my fathers side are English. So the answer would be a very long time ago.

  2. My husband became a citizen about 5 years ago and I remember him studying for the test. It was all good study for him, as he knew NOTHING about American history and has since read several history books out of interest. Congrats to all of you!

  3. I actually got a little sniffly reading this – it’s just wonderful! My family came over from Germany in the 1700’s, so we’ve been here awhile. 😉 All of the men in my family, including my husband, have been in one branch of the military or another. I am proud of them, proud to be an American, and proud of your hubby too! 🙂

  4. My grandparents all emigrated and all earned citizenship through naturalization. My husband moved here as a toddler, but his mom was a US citizen so he is. Thank goodness my grandparents came, there is no doubt in my mind that our lives are infinitely richer for it.

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