A Personal Journey to Citizenship and the White House
Luis Miranda, the former Director of Hispanic Media for the White House Office of Communications, recently wrote an op-ed for USA Today sharing his immigration story – a story that begins with a young, undocumented kid, and end in the White House.
Miranda, who grew up with dreams of becoming a fighter pilot, tried to join the Civil Air Patrol when he found that he "needed a Social Security number and didn't have one," he said. "I began to understand what it meant to be undocumented." It was the 1986 immigration law signed by President Reagan that eventually opened a path to citizenship for him.
As Washington considers commonsense immigration reform, Miranda notes that most immigrants here aren't looking for a handout -- they're looking for the American dream:
Young people who grew up here, like I did, but who haven't been given the chance to earn their citizenship, face the prospect of ending up washing dishes rather than staffing our laboratories or joining our military.
A decade after I was sworn in as a U.S. citizen, I was sworn in to serve at the White House. What I've learned through the years is that citizenship is more than a certificate. It's about our responsibilities to each other and to our communities, and stems as much from Fourth of July picnics as from how we embrace the values that have made America strong.