I’m a Canadian and I’m Applying
for U.S. Citizenship
November 10, 2016
I’ve lived in the U.S. for 23 years, but I didn’t vote in this election. I’m a green card
holder, and I was planning to apply for citizenship this year. The naturalization process
takes a considerable amount of time (six months at minimum, but often much longer),
so by the time I was able to apply, the turnaround time wouldn’t have allowed me to
vote in this election. Rather than submitting my application anyway, I decided to wait
and ensure the Election Day results went the way I wanted. I joked with my family that
I’d submit my citizenship application on Nov. 9, when I knew it was safe.
Well, Nov. 9 has come and passed. And I don’t know that it’s safe. Now that Donald
Trump is the President-elect, I’m faced with the question: do I still want to become a
citizen of the United States of America?
I was born in Canada, and I came to the U.S. when I was 2. I currently hold a Canadian
passport, and I am working on becoming an Overseas Citizen of India (my mother was
born in India and a lot of my family still lives there). I would never relinquish my
Canadian passport, a decision I made long before Canadian citizenship became a hot
On the night of the election, the Canadian immigration website crashed, likely a result of
frantic voters typing “how to move to Canada” into Google. As someone who has
(willingly) been the butt of Canadian jokes for 20 or so years, you’d think I’d feel at least
a twinge of validation that people are now desperately flocking to my birth country. I
don’t. It just feels overwhelming and disheartening.
I love living in the U.S. I was raised in this country. I was educated—kindergarten
through college—in the U.S. When people ask me where I’m from, I don’t say Canada or
India; I say I’m from Boston. I am (probably) here to stay. As much as moving back to
Montreal has crossed my mind lately, most of the people I love are in this country,
including my immediate family, my boyfriend and my closest friends.
If I’m going to stay, if I’m invested in the U.S. political system, and if I’m eligible to
become a citizen (because I’ve now held a green card for five years), it’s time to exercise
that privilege. I know what it’s like to enter the green card lottery year after year, be a
slave to my visa, and become an all-too-regular face at my local immigration office. It’s
frustrating, time-consuming and often degrading. I’ve finally come far enough to qualify
for citizenship, which is a privilege I am incredibly fortunate to have, and one that I
know millions of immigrants are fighting for.
But if I apply for American citizenship tomorrow, I will end up saying the naturalization
Oath of Allegiance under President Trump. I will attend my oath ceremony in a room
filled with framed photos of our 45th president—a man who has faced multiple sexual
assault accusations and threatened to deport millions of immigrants.
And to me, that is heartbreaking. Because on a night that I thought would boost our
shared faith in this country, my trust and hope were broken instead.
There is now a large part of me that feels like I should wait until our President-elect is
out of office before I apply to become a citizen. But I think it’s more important that I
work hard to become an American so I can participate in the next election.
This is not how I wanted to feel when I submitted my naturalization application. I
planned to feel energized and hopeful, instead of terrified. I wanted to submit my
application with pride, instead of in a hurry because I honestly don’t know what’s going
to happen to immigration laws in this country.
This President-elect has verbalized his intentions to make strict immigration
crackdowns. Conceivably, in the Trump era, I could be stopped in the street as a nonwhite person and asked to produce proof of residency. As much as I detest that part of
my hurry to apply for citizenship will be because it may get more challenging after Jan.
20, that is the reality we are now facing. I feel a sense of urgency to become a citizen,
which I think I’ve always felt, but I also feel something new: dread.
March 4, 2019
I'm a Canadian, And I'm Applying for US Citizenship
, I'm a Canadian, And I'm Applying for US Citizenship", answer one or more of the
1. Why do you think Kachroo-Levine wants to become a US citizen?
2. What does Kachroo-Levine think is the "privilege" of being a citizen? How did eligible
voters use this privilege on election day?
3. If Kachroo-Levine feels "terrified" and filled with "dread" yet still wants to be a citizen, what
does this say about her view of the United States?
An effective outline should have a few basic elements. To demonstrate these, I will do so in
outline form. You can watch this video for some helpful tips too.
Aspects of an effective outline
Hierarchy of ideas (structure)
Defines the function of each idea
Topic sentence: defines a paragraph
Major detail: supports the topic sentence and is usually a concept of some kind
Minor detail: supports a major detail and is often a specific, concrete example, quote, statistic,
Content: evaluating your ideas
Order: there should be a logical way to connect the ideas
Chronological: develops along a time line
Spatial: develops in a physical space
Example: from US regions—West, Mountains, Plains, Midwest, East Coast, South
From most to least important
From least to most important
Quantity: there should be enough evidence to clearly make your point
Are there any concepts that need additional explanation or evidence to support?
Are there any terms that the reader might not know that need definition?
Quality: the points should be specific and easily understood
1. Every point that is made pertains to the thesis
1. All the points transition well
a. Transitions are relationships, so there needs to be an obvious relationship between ideas
Write a 5 paragraph response essay.
For "I'm a Canadian, and I'm Applying for US Citizenship" answer the following:
What conceptions of citizenship do you think different groups of voters had in the 2016
presidential election? How do these conceptions affect people in the United States now?
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