Immigrant Voices

Citizenship Student: Sarah A.


During the presidential election, IIBA client Sarah A. closely followed the nominees’ stances on immigration. Sensing unrest, she began the citizenship application process. The daughter of Yemeni parents, Sarah lived in the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom before moving to the U.S., where she lives with her husband and children, who are U.S. citizens.

 

The recent Executive Order banning immigrants from certain predominantly Muslim nations has caused great fear among Sarah’s community. With families being temporarily stranded abroad, barred from reentering the U.S., Sarah acknowledges, “Becoming a citizen is the only way I can ensure that I am not separated from my family living in the U.S. and can safely travel abroad to visit my parents.”

 

To prepare for the citizenship exam and interview, Sarah has spent the past four months studying at IIBA’s newest citizenship class in San Francisco. According to instructor Sam Bianco, “Sarah is a natural leader in the classroom, speaking for the group and taking action, including getting the wheels in motion that led to an additional class being added.” Sarah is an inquisitive student. Not satisfied simply to memorize facts, she seeks to understand the context and rationale behind historical events and contemporary issues. She’s also a helpful student, providing translation to classmates who are learning to speak and write in English.

 

When Sarah is not in class, she focuses on taking care of her children and her husband. In rare moments of free time at home, her seven year old daughter tests her with citizenship flashcards. “The United States is my new home,” Sarah says, “and the best way I can show that is by becoming a citizen.”

 

With her diligent studies and the resources provided by IIBA, Sarah is well on her way to joining her husband and children in U.S citizenship.

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