The journey for a better life


Cathy Arrieta, Staff Writer

My name is Catherine Arrieta Reynoso and I’m 17-years-old and was born in Tijuana, Mexico. In less than three weeks, I will become a citizen of the United States of America. I was able to do this a lot easier than others because my dad did most of the work. Although there was also a lot of work involved.

When I was little, I used to see my dad and mom  always doing a lot of paperwork. When I got older, I was able to understand that he was trying to take my whole family to the United States so we could have a better future and better life. One day I asked my mom since my dad was doing all the paperwork and she told me that he has done it since I was little and that it’s taking more time to get everything done since he is a permanent resident.

After many years, in 2014 he was able to get my sister and I our permanent resident cards. We had to fly to another city for our appointment for the applications. After around 4 months, we received our green cards and were legally permanent residents of the United States of America.

On September, 2016, my dad became a U.S. citizen; he went through all the criteria and passed his test that the government gave him. Sadly, in 2017, my dad passed away without enjoying his citizenship fully. Without him, I didn’t know what to do.

Since 2017, I have been with lawyers and searching for help with teachers and other sources of how to get my Citizenship Through Parents. This consisted of at least one of the child’s parents to be a U.S. citizen by birth or naturalization; The child is a permanent resident under 18 years of age; The child is residing in or has resided in the United States in the legal and physical custody of the U.S. citizen parent. After knowing this I went with a lawyer and she helped me with the process, where to go and what papers I had to fill out.

In the beginning of 2020 I started working on my application for my United States passport, and on January 30, I had my appointment to get my passport; everything went well and in less than three weeks I received the documentation that I’m a citizen.

I couldn’t have done this if it wasn’t for my dad, my mom and my sister who helped me in different ways; my dad by taking me to U.S.A and turning himself into a citizen and my mom by giving me the paperwork I needed and my sister by giving me all the support I need and driving me to all the places I had to go. Also I’m so thankful for all the love and support I received from people who aren’t my family; teachers, neighbors and also workers at CBP.