Tag Archives: Family

24 Apr

A Kiwi in Texas

Background Information:

 Came from Auckland, New Zealand in 1988.

Kiwi is a term for what New Zealander’s call each other. The nickname originated from a bird that’s native to the country.


It was a very long process to go through. I applied for my green card in 2005 and then I think I it was 3 to 5 years to apply for citizenship and just go through the process.

How I came to the United States? How I came? Pretty easy. I just purchased a ticket from Auckland and just flew into the country. Oh, my fiancé… he was here, he’s an American Citizen and because of him I came over to the states and it wasn’t long, I think within a week we were married. Well, you know I had met him before hand, I had met him in Australia… it was a long relationship, but the goal was to you know once I finally came over we were going to get married and I was going to stay here.

I think it’s very tough. Other immigrants who are here legally.. it is, you know it is a big culture change you know from where they’re coming through. I came from a country that was very small. Population was very small. It’s not as diverse as it is here in America. But, I really like the states because there’s so much going on, so much innovation and you know if you have a good idea and you want to produce a product… you could do that. Finding the right people, getting the product out in the market. I really like that because in New Zealand, when I was back home you know everything took too long. But here, there was just so much energy in this country. What influenced me, what I liked about is just I think the most interesting thing was that they were really innovative and just like a diverse culture you know I thought it was just great. There’s so much to learn here. So many people to meet and get along. I really like this country. I didn’t have a problem with it. It took me a while to get use to everything, especially with the driving… cause we drive on the you know. .. but I think coming over here and if you’re determined to fit in and do well you can. It’s a lot to go through, but over the years things have really worked out for me. I have 3 children, 3 beautiful children and they have done extremely well.

I was just going to say, I went back to New Zealand just recently and what a difference. When I left the country, you know it was still growing .. still learning. It’s been 30.. 25 years since I’ve been back to New Zealand, you know Auckland has really changed. You know the ideas… I was looking at America it seems like New Zealand has fast forward into the future. It’s just a new city to me that progressed so much. They’re innovative. Just the city itself, a lot of changes… there’s a lot of new buildings and I can just see that they have a lot of great ideas… new ideas…and it’s just obvious that people have gone overseas and brought all those new ideas back to Auckland… and it just really amazes me. So, what we have in the states, it’s now back in New Zealand… it’s not that it was backward, but they’ve really come forward you know and I just went WOW… it’s a really beautiful city. But comparing it with the states, a lot of people, I just like the vibrant lifestyle here and it’s always attracted me… this country. If you want to do really well, you know if you got the patience, work really hard… anyone can come into the country can make it. I never think about those things, you know there’s a lot of issues here … but if I can just do my own thing and just be a good citizen and what else could I say… I’ve never had any problems, whatsoever. If there have been problems, I’ve never really… it just doesn’t really upset me at all.

So when I came into the country you know I had all the papers, so that wasn’t a problem. Like I said, my husband and I we married within the week and then I had 3 children. My middle child had potential to represent this country overseas and that’s at the stage… I had a New Zealand passport, but for me to leave the country and then re-enter… I guess I could have still used my New Zealand passport, but I preferred to use American green card. So, in order to get that I found a lawyer.. an immigration lawyer who was able to help me and take me through the whole process so we had a meeting with him and then he started the process. The first thing that we had to do was my husband had to fill out forms that he was going to sponsor me… and from there I had to go and have a doctor’s examination then not long after that… I’m not too sure several months I had to go and get my fingerprints and then not long after that we had an appointment with an interview with the immigration officials and my lawyer came with me. After all the papers were signed and sealed and everything was checked correctly, I finally got my green card. I became a permanent resident. So that was great. I was able to travel with my daughter to France and re-enter the country and then I had to wait the 3-5 years to apply to become a natural citizen.

Again, I think because I had already went through the process of the green card it wasn’t too long… it didn’t take too long to fill out the other forms to become a natural citizen… because since all my papers were all correct I had to… for the natural citizen I filled out forms … went for interviews and once that was done everything checked through… I think that the day that I went to the interview it was morning and then in the afternoon they had this swearing an oath ceremony and I became a United States Citizen with 88 other people from all over the country.

So, yeah it is a long process, but as long as you fill in all forms, and everything is correct you should have no problems. But just making sure I had to have my birth certificate, my New Zealand passport, everything had to be in order and they do all this background check to make sure you don’t have any outstanding warrants or anything like that… I think that my process wasn’t that bad. I know people have gotten through and if some of the forms were filled out incorrectly then they had to go back in the waiting line and it would take them another 6 months before being through. So, yes I would say I was very fortunate but it took me from I think 2005 up to 2013 before I became a natural citizen. I wasn’t in a hurry, but I’m glad I got it… I’m really pleased with it.. so life moves on.

23 Apr

Śikṣā kā prabhāva (The Influence of Education)


     I was born in Nasik, India. I came to the United States in fall 2013 when I was 25. I came here for a better education.

     I came here on a student F1 Visa Status, which is the official U.S. government designation and authorization of your stay in the U.S. as a non-immigrant student. The reason I came to the US was to pursue a higher education (Masters). The United States is a pioneer in the field of information technology, it has the best education to offer with the right infrastructure and facilities. The education in India is not as advanced and the model of study is more focused on articles rather than exams. For example over in India, they were only limited to teaching me one coding language because that’s how the curriculum was built versus here were I could take as many as I want. I received my Bachelors in Information Technology in 2010.

     Living here is great. The people of the United States are really friendly and like to help you a lot, at least that’s how my experience has been while living here. I can’t emphasize enough how far superior the education is here and it surely makes a difference to your knowledge and learning. The cities here are also beautiful (New York, Seattle, New Jersey, Dallas) with great things to watch out for; I just really enjoy living here.

     I am not trying to obtain a permit or citizenship because I would like to go back to my home country once I’m done with my masters. I don’t wish to stay here because of my family back home. If I were to find a good job then I would stay here, otherwise I’m going home because I miss my younger sister and parents.

19 Apr

Dreams for a Brighter Future


     On the first day of Spring of the year 1992, I was born in the city of San Luis Potosi, S.L.P., Mexico.  In 1998, when I was only 6 years old my parents decided to come to the United States based on the belief that life here would be easier and greater opportunities to prosper would be offered.

     I can barely remember the trip to the U.S. When I try to remember, it all feels like a dream. My father was already in the U.S. at that time, while my mother, little brother, and I were still in Mexico. One day my mom told us that we were finally going to meet my dad in “Los Estados Unidos”.  I was so excited because I had not seen my dad in what felt like years, but in reality was only 6 months.

     Our long journey began later that day. We took a taxi to the bus station, and then from the bus station to a city near the border. There we met with two women who were waiting for us. My mom got in the trunk and my brother and I were placed in the back seat with one of the women. They kept telling me to lie about my name when we crossed the border. At the moment I didn’t know why, but then I realized it was because I was crossing the border using someone else’s documents. After several hours of waiting in line to cross, it finally came to be our time to pass. The women told my mom to stop making any noise because we are about to cross and they reminded me of my new name I needed to tell the officer if he asks me. Luckily the officer did not ask me anything and we made it across with no problems.

     After a few hours of driving, the women left us in another city where my father was waiting.  I was so relieved to be in my father’s arms again. Our new lives started in this new country thought to be the land of opportunities. At first we lived with my uncle for a few months, then finally my parents saved up enough money to get our own apartment. Later, I was enrolled in school. It was challenging at the beginning since I did not know the language. Fortunately, the school had just started giving bilingual classes so my mother enrolled me in those classes and it got a bit easier. I soon picked up the new language, and I became one of the top students in my class.

     Three years had passed when my dad was told that he could obtain his permit through his job and that he was able to submit applications for the entire family. His employer was happy to give him the news and immediately started looking for an attorney who could help him with his case. Unfortunately, the attorney that my dad’s employer found only spoke English so my dad had to communicate through the attorney’s assistant. We thought we had been blessed with this great opportunity for all four of us to become legal.  Everything seemed like it was going great! My parents got their first house and my brother and I were super excited that we finally had a backyard we could finally run around in. My parents had a job and my brother and I were taking advantage of the great education this country could offer.

     While our applications were still pending, in 2007 my parents received their biometrics appointments, later they received their work permit and they could finally go and obtain their own social. A year later I turned working age and I told my parents I wanted to start working in order to help them, so they told the attorney to go ahead and submit my application for the work permit.  I received my work permit and with that I got my own social. Life was great, and we were no longer afraid that we were going to be caught using someone else’s information.

     Now it was the year 2010, when we finally got our last appointment with immigration, where they were going to decide if we got approved for the residency or not. My father insisted that his attorney’s office to set up appointment and consult with him on what we need to say at this appointment and they denied us the appointment and just told us to be early and we can meet with the attorney then.

     On the day of the appointment we could not find the attorney because through all these years, my dad only met with him in person, just for a few minutes about three times. It was after an hour later that we finally met with him. Luckily we had been there earlier than our appointment time so we made in just in time. We asked the attorney once again what we needed to say and he seemed like he had no idea about our case, he just told us just answer their questions truthfully.  So we went in and we answered the questions truthfully.  On one of the questions my dad was answering I saw the attorney just slam his folder and sighed. I knew at that moment my dad had answered incorrectly and things were about to take a turn for the worst. At the end the attorney told us the bad news. “You are going to face deportation!!” We were in shock!

     We kept asking him “Why?!” “What did we do?” He simply told us that if my dad had told him the truth from the beginning he would have never taken our case because we did not qualify. What the attorney originally failed to obtain from my dad was that he entered the U.S. illegally twice, that he came one time stayed for a few months went back and returned illegally once again. My dad said he had confessed all of this to the assistant but for some odd reason, was lost in translation.

     On my final year of high school I faced deportation. My dreams of going to a university and becoming an Electrical Engineer with my friends vanished. My parents were talking about returning to Mexico because they did not want to hide and be afraid of the police or getting arrested.

     I didn’t want to go to Mexico. My life was here, I grew up here, in the land of opportunity… I even asked one of my best friends if she could hide me in her house so I would not have to leave my home. At the end my parents decided to stay because they had hope that this country would one day change all these unjust immigration laws. They believed that the US would give opportunities to those immigrants with great moral character who are trying to fulfill the American dream and become legal citizens.

     That day came on June 12, 2012 when DACA was established. Although this only benefited my brother and I, my parents were overjoyed that their children could now live without the fear of deportation and that they would have the opportunity to prosper. Despite DACA, I didn’t go back to school. I now have a good job as a Legal Assistant to a criminal attorney. I have a family and finally I am making plans to buy my house and raise my children in this country that has been hard on me, but at the same time given me the opportunity to to get a great education.  I now have hope that there can be an opportunity for my parents who are still living here with fear of being deported at any time.

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