Loverpants got to pledge allegiance to the United States of 'Merica last week, and the whole morning was just pretty keen. My hubs has his own immigration story to tell, but he and his family have endured a lot to call this place home. As for me, I just get to take the pictures and wave the star spangled banner. Here are a few things a swearing in ceremony will either highlight or reaffirm about this great nation:
1. The immigration process is still a careful one. From the biometrics to the interview to every piece of paperwork, the bureaucracy is boss. The process for letting the good guys and gals in is still pretty stinking thorough. I'm sure there are a hundred different ways to outsmart Uncle Sam, but his gates strive to be ironclad and the gatekeepers aim to be good flaggers of criminality.
2. Your new neighbors bring a ton of wealth to this country. So maybe they've been here 5, 10 years. They speak Yoruba, Farsi, Spanish. They celebrate high Hindu holidays. They braid hair and weave baskets and practice law and medicine like bosses. Maybe they are bosses. We just don't always see them gathered all at once on a happy occasion in one room. The swearing-in ceremony will remind you of the riches of language, culture, religion, and racial diversity that the wave of recent immigrants represents. Total jackpot.
3. The Daughters of the American Revolution are still a thing. They make cookies and wave flags and celebrate citizenship at swearing-in ceremonies. Civic engagement for the win.
4. Hamilton the Musical is sold out indefinitely for a reason. The convergence of hip-hop with the brilliance of Lin-Manuel Miranda and colonial petticoats is all pretty cool. But so is our history as a young nation of zealous freedom seekers. It still resonates. I have to believe this is why Judge Susan Lee got all verklempt swearing in these new citizens last week. She says it's her favorite thing to do.
5. There are now 50 more immigrants-turned-citizen in Chattanooga who will be eligible to vote in November, who likely are against building a wall along our border with Mexico, who don't believe America needs to be made great again, since the best is surely yet to come :)