Friday, February 22, 2013

Right to change your nationality? Not as easy as it sounds.

          The 15th article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights suggests that no person should be denied the right to change their nationality. In spite of the fact, there are many that just don't get the opportunity. It might be assumed that most illegal immigrants become naturalized citizens, at least in the United States. This, however, is not completely true. Legal immigrants must reside within the United States for at least 5 years before starting the naturalization process. Illegal immigrants are subject to detainment and can be deported at anytime after their visa or other methods of allotted time in the United States has expired. The process for them is less likely to lead to citizenship.
         The reason for addressing this issue is because I have a couple of cousins who have come to this country by visa. Both overstayed their allowed time and tried to become citizens. After about 15 years, one of them succeeded. The other is still trying. The probable reason for the difference in their situations, despite them coming at the same time? One became trained in nursing, the other became a hairdresser. The naturalization process for illegal immigrants is different than that of the legal immigrants from what I've been told by them. The process takes much longer than 5 years and is determined on the basis of interview rather than meeting requirements normally given to legal immigrants. The 15th article isn't perfect, it could still use some work.

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