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Local resident achieves dream to become American citizen

Twenty-seven years ago, Daniela McKenzie came to America with her child. She was married to an American and received a green card. Her husband wanted her to come on the marriage status, but she wanted to do everything by the book. “We had so many medical bills,” said Daniela. “Bills first and then a lot of people asked me to become an American and I said, “When the time is right. And then something else would happen, kids and bills.” McKenzie said she tried twice to become a citizen, but couldn’t afford the nearly $900 for the process.

But Daniela promised her friend, Richard Nichols, one of the first people she met here; that she would pursue citizenship when she could secure the funds. Recently she raised nearly all the money and with some help from her daughter and sonin-law she acquired the rest to start the process. She filled out the paperwork and was told the process took 20 months. She thought she had that long to study. Soon, she received a letter that her test was in two weeks. First, she had her biometrics appointment. Biometrics is a way to measure physical characteristics to verify identity, such as fingerprints, facial recognition or behavioral characteristics. “They really want to know everything about you; everything,” she said. “If you go in any country and want to immigrate, to me; I think it’s important to be transparent. If you don’t have anything to hide, you don’t have any problems answering the questions.”

 

 

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