I have always tried to avoid politics, and religion, on this blog but sometimes something comes along and it sparks an something in where my journey is now. I am a ‘legal permanent resident’, thus making me a ‘documented immigrant’ There is so much in the news and being mentioned in political circles about immigration these days maybe it’s time I mentioned it here on my blog.
I would never ever have attempted to come to the USA undocumented. Even in the early days of our planning we went through the stress of applying for a K1 Visa, even though it put our wedding date at risk. But we wanted to do things correctly and not take any chances.
After our wedding we applied to Adjust our status, from an engaged to married couple, thus allowing me to apply for my Green Card and start working and become a legal permanent resident. Our journey through the visa process isn’t over yet as next year, Feb 2018, we have to apply to have the conditions of my visa and residencey removed, another process that will take approx 14-18 months. All these processes are stressful and we have to meet certain criteria for the removal of conditions to prove our marriage is a bona fide one.
All this is because of fraud within the Visa system, but at the end of it all we will have followed all the rules and have done everything requested by the US government. After that the path to US citizenship opens up and that will be a path I will more than likely go down.
Now the elephants in the room, illegal immigrants and politicians. Both affect how our process goes, politicians by saying uneducated things, trying to be popular and playing to the crowd and illegal immigrants by not doing things the correct way in the first place. Both have reasons for doing what they do and some have no choice but to either play to the crowd or be illegal but sometimes the knock on effect isn’t what they expected.
I look forward to the day that I am finished with the Visa process but even when I apply for US citizenship I will always be an immigrant, but fully documented from day 1.
A month ago we moved into our new house and tonight Leanne’s parents will come and visit and stay with us for a few days and will get to see our new house in real life for the first time. Hopefully my Mam will travel over from Ireland and get to see the house at Christmas this year.
We are all settled in, all the furniture and appliances are delivered even if it took a few attempts by the shops to get it right! Photos are on the wall, flag pole for the Irish and American flags to fly is up, flowers are in the pots and the front yard is looking well for the ‘in-law’ inspection over the next few days.
And that leads me onto the purpose of today’s post, my new in laws here in the USA. Bob and Terri, Leanne’s parents, have been absolutely brilliant in their support of us from day 1 when we first mentioned our plans for getting married and even getting this new house. I always love to have them visit and enjoy chatting about all sorts of stuff with them. It has helped me acclimate to US culture having those conversations, learning to understand how life and culture of things work here.
It was completely different back home in Ireland as I took everything for granted as it was how I had lived my life for 47 years. Moving to the US was a huge step, a bit of a leap of faith but having the support, assistance and guidance from my in laws, as well as friends and family on both sides of the Atlantic certainly helped.
I have noticed that I think of Ireland and home a lot but the little bouts of missing Ireland and being homesick are less and less. It will always be home, it will always be the country that helped make me who I am today but now I am lucky enough to experience life in a while new country and culture with my new family, and for that I am thankful.
My new Irish flag will arrive on Thursday and I will fly it outside the house with pride and when it comes to change it to the USA one for certain holidays, Memorial Day, July 4th etc I will proudly fly the flag of my new adopted country outside our house. You may be able take the man out of Ireland but you can’t take Ireland out of the man.
My plan is over the coming week and leading up to Sunday 23rd and Monday 24th to mark the real centenary with some posts about my small knowledge of Irish history and in particular the Easter Rising of 1916. I also hope to have a guest post or 2 from the editor of Ireland’s Military Story which recently launched their own Easter 1916 Special.
Easter week in 1916 was a pivotal moment in Irish history and the following executions of the leaders by the British helped to sway public opinion in favour of the rising. Like most things Irish though, it has been mired in political debate ever since and even now, 100 years later, there is still animosity towards the leaders of 1916. I will nail my colours to the mast here, the loss of life by both the British forces, the Irish forces and civilians was horrendous, the decision to summarily execute the leaders was a shameful act by the British and the leaders and signatories of the proclamation died for the cause of Irish freedom from British rule.
As a proud Irishman now living in the USA, an Irish flag flies outside our house and even though I didn’t agree with the state holding the commemoration ceremonies at Easter instead of the real centenary weekend, I was proud to see it done so well and with immense pride from all involved.
Ireland really can be the best little country in the world when it puts to mind to something.
To be available in early March 2016, the book The 1916 Irish Rebellion (University of Notre Dame Press) includes a historical narrative; a lavish spread of contemporary images and photographs; and a rich selection of sidebar quotations from contemporary documents, prisoners’ statements, and other eyewitness accounts to capture the experiences of nationalists and unionists, Irish rebels and British soldiers, and Irish Americans during the turbulent events of Easter Week, 1916.