I’ve been asking Sami all day when he was naturalized because I thought it was July 4, 1976. He not only couldn’t remember when, he also couldn’t remember exactly where. When a online search proved fruitless, he started ruffling through his briefcase and came up with this:
He said he couldn’t wait one minute longer than required to become a citizen. Not he nor anyone he is related to nor anyone he knows nor anyone they are related to would ever have taken a chance on coming to this country illegally. Fear of being discovered and deported, never to be allowed to return, kept these people on the quota list for years. For more than a decade in some cases.
And when they came they arrived as fully functional engineers, chemists, mathematicians, physicians and hotel management. The physicians had to wait until they busted their way into the U.S. doctors’ club but in the meantime they worked in video stores and supermarkets, as porters and other jobs that required no certification so they could support their families. Only one little family group of two whose matriarch had some serious health issues took advantage of America’s social services – and you know what? Twenty years later almost to the day, they still have government subsidized housing, still use food stamps, still have Medicaid.