20
Mon, May

Welcome New Citizen Letter from Wrong President.  What?

GUEST WORDS

GUEST COMMENTARY - I felt that this is an important and a very timely story to tell, especially since Donald J. Trump has decided to run again for the presidency of the United States.

Why am I bringing this up? Well, apparently, history does have a way to repeat itself. – I just found that out the hard way when I opened the envelope with the “Message from the President of the United States” at my November 4, 2022, swearing in ceremony in Los Angeles. 

I understand that back in 2017, some new citizens received a “welcome message” from Barack Obama, even though he was no longer President. Donald Trump was President at that time. 

Granted, that “mistake” may have only happened a short time after Mr. Obama left office and Mr. Trump took residence. Perhaps the members of the US Citizens and Immigration Department (USCIS) didn’t have enough time to change out the letters to provide the new citizens with letters from the current President at the time of their ceremony. 

But how long does it take to replace the old letters with letters that reflect the signature of the current President? Apparently 22 (twenty-two) months isn’t enough! 

After studying for the Civics Test questions twice a week for 2 months I thought I had everything under control, including those questions we all know by heart: “What is the name of the President of the United States now?” – That had to be the easiest one of them all, right? – Who doesn’t know the name of the current President? 

Well, apparently someone in the US Government does not know the answer to that question, that’s who. 

I am writing this as a New Citizen of the United States of America who has just taken the Oath of Allegiance on November 4, 2022. 

As a quick background I wanted to let you know that I am an immigrant from Germany who has made a childhood dream come true by becoming a US Citizen. I remember watching TV one night with my family in Germany, and I distinctly remember one scene of the movie that moved me. It showed a person looking out of an airplane window with the skyline of Los Angeles down below. The tall buildings were covered in the glow of the sunset, and I thought: Wow, that is pretty! - So, I turned to my family and proclaimed “I am going to live there one day.” Granted that I was about 5 years old and only spoke German, this spontaneous reaction of mine made my family giggle. 

Then, in 1993 I made my dream a reality, and in 2022, I made the final step and applied for US Citizenship. 

My attorney kept reminding me about the lengthy process that comes with this and he told me that it could take about 6-12 months or more, which meant that I may not get a citizenship interview scheduled before the midterm election. 

That is why I was so excited when I received my appointment letter in September 2022, informing me that my citizenship interview was scheduled for November 4, 2022. This was 4 days prior to the midterm election! 

Once I had that date in my mind, I started studying the 2008 “Civics (History and Government) Question for the Naturalization Test”. My husband asked the questions several days a week, and for the most part I aced them every time. 

Questions such as “What is the supreme law of the land”, “Name your U.S. Representative”, and “What is the name of the President of the United States now?”. I knew the answers to each and every one of them: “The US Constitution”, “Congressman Ted Lieu” and “President Joseph (Joe) Biden.” 

I can honestly say that I was prepared to answer any question the officer would have for me, and I did pass the test. 

However, the one thing I was not prepared for was included in the “welcoming package”, which the Government hands out to every new Oath taker just prior to the Oath of Allegiance Ceremony. 

The package included one white envelope from the USCIS, as well as another envelope labeled in all capitalized letters “A MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES”. Excitedly, I opened the latter one first and was utterly shocked when I saw the signature of the “President”. 

It was not the signature of our current President, Joe Biden, but the signature of his predecessor Donald Trump.

 

I love this country and I studied hard to become a US Citizen, but with all due respect to the Men and Women who work in and for the Administration under Joe Biden, it is a punch in the gut to the new citizens when the “Message from the President” is not from President Biden, but rather from a president of the past, Donald Trump. 

The entire process of becoming a US citizen started to feel like a sham to me. It came across as if the people who work for the Immigration Services and who are part of this process are not taking the process seriously enough to confirm that the “Message” from the President is actually from the current president

I understand that to some people this may be a non-issue, but to me it is a big deal especially since Mr. Trump was anti-immigrant during his tenure as President. In fact, the Naturalization Civics Test was made harder under his administration, when he raised the questions from 100 to 128. Under his regime applicants now had to answer 12 questions correctly out of 20. All of this made it much harder for applicants to pass. I am positive that I would have passed the test, but the fact remains that I did not make my Citizenship test under his tenure, but rather waited until Mr. Biden was in office. 

Furthermore, Mr. Trump has not been the President of the United States since January 20, 2021, when Mr. Biden took the Oath of Office. 

I know that there are folks out there who want people to believe that President Biden is not our President, but I know that he is. In fact, my husband and I both watched the swearing in ceremony on January 20, 2021. 

However, after receiving the “Message from the President” with my package of the USCIS on November 4, 2022 I can only imagine that other newly sworn in citizens also received the same message signed by Mr. Trump, too. 

This brings the question as to “What is the name of the President of the United States now?” to the forefront as the answer could simply be: “It depends on who you ask. But it appears that even the government is under the impression that it is Donald Trump.” 

In closing I want to say that I believe that this is an error rather than a conspiracy, but it does not change the fact that I now have a piece of paper included in my “welcome package” that is signed by a President who lost the 2020 election, but who keeps on insisting that he did not. And it does not change the fact that this little piece of paper does not reflect the current presidency of President Biden. 

(Ziggy Kruse Blue is a new US citizen and old contributor to CityWatchLA.)