I am a first generation American. My parents were both immigrants to the US, so when folks talk bad about “birth-er babies” or “anchor babies” it hits close to home. That’s me your talking about. I do remember my parents studying for their citizenship test, and I could recite the Bill of Rights to the Constitution before I could read the Constitution. I have a very rich and clear understanding of what it means to be a citizen of the United States.
So it is no small thing that this year, I claimed my citizenship in the United Kingdom, Great Britain. I now am a dual citizen of both the US and the UK. I fell into a unique category; US law says that children of immigrants born in the US are US citizens, while UK law says that children of immigrants born overseas are UK citizens (not British subjects). It was never at issue before, but there are circumstances and events on the horizon for me that would make it beneficial to me to have my UK citizenship.
It should have been relatively easy, except for a hiccup about my father’s last name (long story for another day), but suffice to say I learned far more about how names are changed in Scotland that I intended. I established my right to citizenship through my material parentage, and in February attended my swearing in ceremony at the British Consul in Houston TX. Can’t imagine a more global city to gain my foreign citizenship. Just me, the Consular representative and a portrait of the Queen (she was smiling). It lasted 4 minutes. Now I have other paperwork to obtain, but plan to let that rest for a few months.
I now feel far better prepared to serve the “world as my parish.”