California Grants U.S. Citizenship to Woman that Can't Read, Write or Speak English

California Grants U.S. Citizenship to Woman that Can't Read, Write or Speak English

America is not merely a country, but a land of ideals. A place where the best and brightest would flock to so they could pursue their ambitions knowing that their freedoms would always be protected. In that sense, America was built by generations of immigrants that sought freedom of opportunity, not hand-outs.

Sadly, that era has long since passed us. Today, the American dream is less about self-sufficiency and more about figuring out ways to make everyone else accommodate your needs.

From NBC San Diego:

Southern California resident Jovita Mendez doesn’t speak English. She can’t read or write, in any language. But she longed for a better future for herself and, this week, she achieved that by finally becoming a U.S. citizen.

“I didn’t think that I would be able to accomplish this, but I did it,” Mendez told NBC 7 in Spanish, holding back tears after being naturalized in a ceremony alongside 700 immigrants in downtown San Diego on Thursday.

“I did it because my kids are here. They told me I needed to do this for myself, to have a future here,” she added. “I’m happy.”

Mendez, originally from Mexico, has lived in the United States for 20 years. She has always wanted to become a U.S. citizen but illiteracy and the language barrier have held her back.

“I don’t know how to read, I don’t know how to write,” Mendez explained.

Until recently, she had never had the confidence to take the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) naturalization test, which consists of 10 civics questions randomly selected from a list of 100 questions.

To pass, applicants must orally answer correctly at least six out of the 10 questions. The only way to effectively do that is to study all 100 civics questions, which cover everything from U.S. history to politics.

Mendez, encouraged by her children, decided to take the test. She took classes led by local Maribel Solache.

“She’s a special case – she doesn’t know how to read or write,” Solaches told NBC 7. “When she came to me, she was filled with insecurities and fear. She didn’t know how to tell me that she couldn’t read or write.”

An utterly useless immigrant, in essence, becomes an utterly useless American citizen. Whereas once-upon-a-time immigrants came to America knowing they would have to earn everything they have, Mendez instead spends two decades in the U.S. depending on others to translate everything for her.

Why, in the 20 years she has spent in this country, has Mendez been unable to learn how to read, write or speak English? The answer is simple: because she doesn't want to, not when everything can be twisted to accommodate her needs.

In the end, Mendez is rewarded with citizenship in a country where she will continue to be virtually unemployable and a burden to U.S. taxpayers.

Solache said Mendez also didn’t know she could qualify for special accommodations for the oral test given her age and time spent living in the U.S. Per USCIS rules, if you’re over the age of 50 and have lived in the U.S. for 20 years or more, you can take the civics test in your native language. This also applies to those age 55 and older, who have lived in the U.S. for 15 or more years.

Solache told Mendez that the language barrier and not being able to read or write didn’t mean she couldn’t become a citizen. She just needed to be sure of herself.

“My job was to empower her and make her believe that she could do it – that her limitations were in her head. It wasn’t the language barrier; it wasn’t that she couldn’t read or write, it was her own insecurities,” Solache said.

The entire story reads like a piece out of The Onion. Insecurity does not cause a person to refuse to learn the language of the majority — sheer arrogance does. Sadly, it seems that Mendez is not an exceptional case — a full third of immigrants granted citizenship cannot speak English. Accommodating non-English speakers costs U.S. tax payers over $114 million annually.

A Washington Examiner article from 2015 pointed out:

Obamacare alone demands that call centers provide interpretation for 150 languages; a 2002 Office of Management and Budget report set a price of nearly $300 million to provide non-English translations in doctor’s offices and hospitals; and a 1997 National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences report that the Feds spend $665 million a year on bilingual programs.

America is no longer the land of opportunity or home of the free. Instead, it has become the land of the hand-out and home of the free stuff.

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