Hannah V. Virginia

The Price of Citizenship

Letter describes the reform process for immigrants in the United States.

The Price of Citizenship

Dear President,

Growing up in a small town in Virginia, one could say that I don’t really see a lot of people from different countries moving in. However, this does not dismiss the reality that many immigrants face troubles when applying for a citizenship in The United States. During my Freshmen year in high school, I met this girl who was from Honduras. She was an illegal immigrant that moved to Virginia to escape the declining conditions in her home country. I remember her telling me how much she loved Virginia, and more than anything she wanted to be a citizen. At the time, I didn’t understand what she was going through, but later in the year I had heard that she had been allowed to stay in the country. I can’t even imagine what that was like for her, especially because if she was sent back, she would have had nowhere to go.

Although my friend was not of age to apply for a formal citizenship, she still experienced things that people who apply for citizenships do during the process. Mr. President, in the U.S., it generally takes a minimum of 5 years of residency to apply for citizenship (The Meaning of U.S. Citizenship). Applicants have to submit a Form N - 400, also known as an application of Naturalization, to request U.S. citizenship. During this time period, applicants are also expected to set up a biometrics appointment, and meet with a representative from the USCIS for an interview concerning their request (Apply For Citizenship).

Even after going through all of these procedures to earn a citizenship, it is not guaranteed that an immigrant will earn their rights. A person has three possible ways that the process could turn out: granted, continued, or denied altogether (Apply For Citizenship). With this being said, many immigrants find themselves looking for other ways to stay in the country. Some may even go to the extremes of marrying a U.S. citizen to be granted the right to stay in the country (The Immigrant Visa Process).

Mr. President, I know that you care about the rights of the people and that justice is needed for all of us. Immigrants are a part of what we have here in the States, and they deserve rights just as well as we do. Although some people may believe that immigrants lower the chances natural born citizens have, this is not necessarily true. The United States is a melting pot of cultures and traditions. In fact, it is a country made up of immigrants from all different parts of the world (American Thinker). Why then, would we as a people, make it so complicated for others to become a part of our diverse collection of individuals? Statistical evidence shows that foreign - born men are jailed at a rate one fourth slower than that of native - born American men. It also shows an increasingly lower rate of violence in neighborhoods that consist of immigrants (What American Citizenship Makes Possible).

I believe that citizenship is a right, and just because someone was born into a country, they do not deserve to be considered citizens. I hope that you, Mr. President, take into consideration the words that I have put in this letter to you. This is something that is very important to me and many others. Many people from different parts of the world want to be a part of what we as Americans put no thought into, as it is given to us freely. There needs to be some justice with the immigration reform system, and it needs to take place soon; There is no more time to waste.



Works Cited

"Apply for Citizenship." Uscis.gov, US Citizenship and Immigration Services, www.uscis.gov/

            citizenship/learners/apply-citizenship. Accessed 2 Oct. 2016.

"The Immigrant Visa Process." Travel.state.gov, U.S. Department of State,

            travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/immigrate/immigrant-process.html. Accessed 3 Oct.


"The Meaning of U.S. Citizenship." Latimes.com, 4 Oct. 2014, www.latimes.com/nation/


"The Value of American Citizenship." Americanthinker.com, 30 June 2012,


            Accessed 16 Oct. 2016.

"What Makes American Citizenship Possible." Wsj.com, 26 July 2016, www.wsj.com/articles/

           what-american-citizenship-makes-possible-1469574353. Accessed 16 Oct. 2016.

Eastern View High School

AP Language & Composition

AP Language & Composition students (11th grade) from Eastern View High School in Culpeper, VA are tasked with researching platforms, crafting political cartoons or pieces of satire, and writing letters and op-eds

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