Becoming American: On paper, in person, in life
This is one part in a new KPCC series looking at the rights, responsibilities, traditions and privileges that come along with being a citizen. Let us know what you think.
Independence Day is just around the corner, and this year more than 8,000 Southern California residents will take the Oath of Allegiance just in time for the Fourth of July. For the native-born, U.S. citizenship requires no application or forms, no tests or convention-center ceremonies. But for those born outside the United States, citizenship's formalities can be pretty daunting. And the cultural and emotional parts aren't necessarily simpler, even if they are a little less formal, sometimes comical, and continually developing.
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On Tuesday, June 25, KPCC's A Martinez sat down with guests Bricia Lopez, Joanne Griffith, and Rod Arriola for a moderated, interactive conversation at The Crawford Family Forum. We explored some lesser-known aspects of the official process but also get into the more everyday questions that shine a light on what it means to "be yourself" and to "become American.": What’ll be on your plate on the Fourth of July? What team do you root for during the Olympics or World Cup? Do you dream in multiple languages?
A Martinez, co-host of KPCC's "Take Two." @amartinezla
Bricia Lopez - Guelaguetza Restaurant co-proprietor, ambassador of all things Oaxacan; naturalized U.S. citizen. @BriciaLopez
Joanne Griffith - Journalist, writer, speaker; U.K.-born and bred, with husband and son who are native-born U.S. citizens. @globaljourno
Rod Arriola - Emortal Clothing proprietor; born in the Philippines, became dual citizenship holder as an adult. @rawdlikesushi