Still a Beacon of Hope

15 Jan

Lest anyone get the impression that this blog is simply an opportunity for us to point out the inequities and harshness of U.S. immigration law and policy, we share with you the story of Warina Zaya Bashou, who became a U.S. citizen on Friday, January 13.  While many people became citizens that day, Ms. Bashou stands out because she was certainly the oldest person to gain citizenship that day.  In fact, at 111 years old, she is the oldest person to naturalize since a 117 year old woman naturalized in 1997.  When Ms. Bashou was born, William McKinley was the President, a new century had just dawned, a century that would become one of the bloodiest in history.  During all those years, huge waves of immigrants came through America as refugees from the World Wars, cold wars, and wars of independence sought freedom and protection in America.  People sought better lives for their family.  Ms. Bashou shows that the flame does not die out and that people, for as long as they draw breath, will continue to “yearn to breathe free.”  Congratulations.

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