I can’t vote. I can’t run for office. I’m allowed to protest, but if a police officer arrested me because I was videotaping them as they pepper sprayed a defenseless civilian, I could be deported. Being a permanent resident (greencard holder) allowed me to stay in the US legally, and get many of the rights that American’s take for granted. However, it’s not the same as being American and having that US Passport. Which is like owning the most precious metal in the world. People swim, boat, fly, jump fences in hopes to attain this treasure.
Living in the states since I was 7, all I really know is America. I’m as American as American can be. Of course, I’ve only had a greencard for 5 years, so prior to that, for 17 years, I was still considered “illegal”, and didn’t even have the rights afforded to greencard holders.
Americans usually ask me what the difference between having a greencard and citizenship is, thinking they are practically the same thing. Though I’m not quite sure if Americans even know the pledge, let alone what the difference is between a greencard and citizenship. So here are some of the things I get when I become American:
- I can officially say I’m American. That would become my nationality.
- I can assemble, protest, etc. without the fear of getting deported if I got arrested.
- I can have an opinion that is counted with a vote (even though that system is broken in itself).
- If I was hiking on the borders of Iran, and get arrested on charges of being a spy, I will have a better probability of getting the US to rescue me. If I was white, the probability would be higher. If I was a white female, even higher. A white female baby? I would be the next star on every news channel, “White female baby was jailed by the Iranian government on Tuesday. They’re claiming that white female baby was spying on the mountain tops of Iran. The Obama administration is currently in talks with the Iranian government to get white female baby safely back to the US and back to her white family.”
- I won’t need a visa to go to most westernized countries and it’ll be easier to get into other countries. So I can fly to London and get my passport stamped after I land in England. Then proceed to Buckingham Palace and lick the Queen.
- I can apply for my parents to get their greencard. They have worked here for 20 years and paid their taxes. They’ll soon be able to collect their social security and after 5 years, when they become citizens, they’ll get their health benefits.
- When a “conservative” American tells me to go back to my country, I can show them my US passport, along with my middle finger, and tell them, “This IS my country…….Bitch.”
There are many more things, but all I can say is, I can’t wait. I can’t wait. I CAN’T WAIT! On June 13th, 2012, I will finally be something that I’ve embodied since I was a child. American. A new chapter will begin, and I will be basking in every moment