After 19 years of living in the United States, 14 of whom are undocumented, Oscar Revorio on Thursday celebrated being at last a US citizen. He was one of 26 permanent residents who obtained citizenship at a party in downtown Los Angeles.
Revolrio, 38, settled in California after immigrating from his native Guatemala. At that time her dreams were working and helping her parents.
“I arrived with a backpack full of dreams and desires because one always comes to this country to improve the lifestyle,” he said.
He added that while many immigrants are planning to buy a car or a house or have a lot of money and material things, their longed-for dream is to be able to obtain legal status in the country.
He admitted that for years he was associated with the song of the Mexican band Los Tigres del Norte, called Jaula de Oro, which talks about an immigrant without legal status saying: “What use is money for me, if I am a prisoner of this great nation.”
“I was 14 and didn’t see my mum and dad,” said Rivolio. “But I think if you don’t take risks, you won’t win.”
He currently lives in South Los Angeles with his wife and four children.
Celebrating Refugee Day
Revolrio had the opportunity to celebrate his naturalization alongside dozens of legal permanent residents, many of whom came to the United States as refugees.
The new citizens represent 14 countries; Armenia, Cambodia, China, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Iran, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, South Korea, Thailand, Uganda, Venezuela and Vietnam.
For some, this was a commemorative date as World Refugee Day is celebrated on June 20.
They were welcomed by the Director of Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in Los Angeles, Anna Chau, a refugee from Vietnam, and took an oath of allegiance.
Chow began her role as Los Angeles County Director of USCIS in October 2020. In that fiscal year, USCIS was
About 625,000 people were naturalized.
World Refugee Day is important to USCIS personnel because they play an important role in the resettlement of these immigrants from around the world.
At the same time, they ensure the safety of the refugee program and national security.
A message to the immigrant community
Oscar Rivorio said that now as a citizen, his dreams continue and he hopes to get his own home paint business with a contractor’s license and travel to Europe and Asia with his wife.
He noted that all immigrants who come to the United States can achieve great things, with or without papers, if they have a vision of thriving by respecting the laws of the society in which they live.
“A lot of them arrive with a mindset of not behaving well and have problems driving drunk or something and that’s where we see people being deported,” said Rivolio. “It is not easy but when one behaves well, it is possible.”
He added that he will always have Guatemala in his heart because it is his home and he is ready to visit whenever he gets the chance.
However, he has great affection for the United States because it is the country that provided him with job and family opportunities. “I have it all here,” said the new American citizen.