HOUSTON, TX – In case you were wondering, this is what happiness looks like. Month after month, thousands of new American citizens all across the country stand up and recite the Pledge of Allegiance, with tears in their eyes, and their hearts full of hope.
So proudly dressed, folks at the M. O. Campbell Center in northeast Houston came from over 160 countries. Today, they see their shared dream come true: to become full fledged members of the American family.
“Thank you God,” cried Brigido Hernandez, a new citizen who immigrated from Mexico. “I just made it.”
But not all immigrant tears are shed for the same reason. So far, no good news for the eleven million immigrants living and working in the U.S. without a VISA. Latino groups are now blaming President Obama for the lack of results in passing immigration reform and for the increasing numbers of deportations.
“We’re here to protest against the deportations,” explained Martha Ojeda, from Faith and Justice Worker Center, who was among the people demonstrating across the street from the Federal building downtown.
Immigration reform advocates demand President Obama by-pass Congress and take executive action to legalize undocumented immigrants.
“More than two million people have been deported during President Obama’s term,” said Ojeda, “and so far, that’s his legacy.”
The debate between those who want to build walls and those who want to build bridges will continue. Either way, it looks like these immigrants who were sworn in as U.S. citizens are fully committed to building a more perfect union:
“I want to vote,” said Claudia Cuevas, from Mexico, as soon as she got her certificate of naturalization. And she means business.