On Monday, May 7, 2018 I arrived at the San Ysidro Community Center at 8:30AM to meet the staff from Casa Familiar and then sit in the U.S. Citizenship class they offer in Spanish. From my conversation with Alberto, the class teacher, I learned that the classes were first intended for seniors but then people of all ages started attending so it’s now open to everyone. The citizenship class was memorable. All immigrants applying to become U.S. Citizens are required to do an interview with an immigration officer. The officer choses 10 questions to ask from a list of 100. I was excited to find out the class was not about just a memorization game. The class was a space in which adults were discussing issues of war, race, and slavery.
I found it interesting was that the fourteen adults in the class were all women. I walked away wondering if the gender ration is a consistent trend and why? I also wondered about the journey these women have gone through and the challenges they have surpasses to find themselves where they are now, making one more stride to pass the interview and gain U.S. Citizenship. I asked an elderly woman if she had been studying for the test and I suggested she could practice with her children or grandchildren. She explained to me she was in class because she wanted to prepare on her own and give her family a surprise!