That was quick.
I mean, as soon as they called my name.
The letter told me to arrive no earlier than 30 minutes prior to my appointment.
Federal Plaza is kind of an intimidating building.
Security is like the airport’s, except the line was short.
I showed up a little bit after 2:00.
My appointment was at 2:25.
They didn’t call me until 5:00.
The interview took less than fifteen minutes.
The officer was nice. Fast talking, but we handled each other really well.
It went something like the following – fyi, it’s an extreme paraphrase, but the punctuation here (or lack thereof) is deliberate because it was that rapid fire:
STAND AND RAISE YOUR RIGHT HAND DO YOU SWEAR TO TELL THE TRUTH THE WHOLE TRUTH AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH SO HELP YOU GOD I do
PLEASE HAVE A SEAT Thank you
(The “hitch” part which comes up at the end)
WHAT IS YOUR NAME May Venancio Anderton
WHAT IS YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER [That’s totally not going on this blog]
WHERE DO YOU LIVE [I stated such]
IS YOUR MAILING ADDRESS THE SAME Yes
WRITE YOUR INITIALS AND THE DATE HERE THE DATE IS TEN-THIRTY-OH-EIGHT Thanks
WHAT IS YOUR DAYTIME PHONE NUMBER [I stated such]
IS YOUR EVENING PHONE THE SAME Yes
ARE YOU CURRENTLY EMPLOYED Yes
WHAT IS THE NAME OF THE COMPANY YOU WORK FOR [I stated such]
WHAT IS YOUR POSITION THERE Claims assistant
AND YOU’VE BEEN WORKING THERE SINCE JUNE 2003 Yes
HAVE YOU EVER COMMITTED A CRIME No
DO YOU SUPPORT A TERRORIST GROUP No
HAVE YOU EVER BEEN ARRESTED No
[BLAH BLAH CAN’T UNDERSTAND] PROSTITUTION No
SMUGGLING OR DEALING IN ILLEGAL SUBSTANCES No
WRITE YOUR INITIALS HERE WITH THE DATE
Okay, here you go
[BLAH BLAH CAN’T UNDERSTAND] DEPORTED What deported?
HAVE YOU EVER BEEN DEPORTED No
ARE YOU CURRENTLY IN ANY DEPORTATION HEARINGS No
HAVE YOU EVER TRIED TO ENTER THE COUNTRY ILLEGALLY No
WOULD YOU BEAR ARMS TO DEFEND YOUR COUNTRY Yes (I actually voiced this more strongly than I thought I would)
DO YOU UPHOLD THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES Yes
IS THIS YOUR SIGNATURE Yes
DID YOU BRING TWO PASSPORT PHOTOS Yes
THAT’S GOOD (I present her with the photos)
SIGN YOUR NAME ALONG THE SIDE Okay
OH YOU HAVE TO SIGN JUST LIKE YOU SIGNED HERE WE DON’T USE INITIALS
So sorry about that
All right, there you are
HOW OLD WERE YOU WHEN YOUR MOM BECAME A CITIZEN I was 29, it was about three years ago
YOU WERE OVER THE AGE OF EIGHTEEN WHEN IT HAPPENED Yes
(More questions I don’t remember, and more initialing and dating forms)
LET ME TRY TO FIND THE NEW TEST Okay
DID YOU STUDY Yes, I hope I’m ready
WHEN WAS THE CONSTITUTION WRITTEN The Constitution was written in 1787
WHAT IS FREEDOM OF RELIGION To practice any religion or no religion at all
HOW MANY MEMBERS ARE IN THE SENATE One-hundred (I’m trying to slow her down, here. She’s enunciating, too, which is helpful.)
NAME ONE STATE THAT BORDERS CANADA Maine
HOW OLD DO MEN HAVE TO BE TO ENTER THE SELECTIVE SERVICE (Pause) Between the ages of 18 and 26
WHAT OCEAN IS ON THE EAST COAST OF THE UNITED STATES The Atlantic Ocean
(She grinned) YOU STUDIED (I grinned)
SIGN ALL THREE NAMES HERE AND DATE … okay
READ THIS SENTENCE (I looked at the sheet of paper she held up)
OUT LOUD (It was something about the Senate)
SIGN ALL THREE NAMES AND DATE
WRITE THE SENTENCE I WILL SAY TO YOU HERE “WE PAY TAXES.” THAT WAS EASY
(I write, “We pay taxes.”)
WELL, YOU PASSED. BUT I CAN’T YET MAKE A DECISION ABOUT YOUR APPLICATION. I CAN’T SAY ANYTHING UNTIL I’VE LOOKED AT THE OTHER FILE DO YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS
So, I guess I have to ask my mom what happened back in 1982?
YEAH, ASK HER ABOUT A SECOND ALIEN REGISTRATION NUMBER.
So, I just have to wait. Should I be worried?
I REALLY CAN’T SAY ANYTHING UNTIL I LOOK AT THE FILE, WHICH ISN’T HERE. I’LL REQUEST THE FILE TONIGHT OR TOMORROW MORNING DEPENDING ON WHEN I FINISH MY LAST INTERVIEW. I HAVE ONE MORE TO GO.
Well, okay. I’ll just wait, then. Thank you officer. This has been really good. You’ve been helpful.
So, I followed her out and we stopped at a copy machine and she copied my green card and looked through my passport. She walked me back out to the waiting room, and we wished each other good night.
That was kind of a weird anticlimax, guys. This part of my life is never without drama. What was I thinking to assume I’d be done after today, with only a notice of ceremony to wait for?
Try not to notice the irony of “finally” in the video.