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02 July 2010

Francisco Diaz: A New American Takes Flight

(This July 4 weekend, USCIS will feature several profiles of immigrants who have become United States citizens at naturalization ceremonies around the country over the past week.)

Francisco Diaz is fascinated by stuff that flies. Growing up in the Dominican Republic, Diaz perfected his English reading aviation books. A full-time flight instructor at Florida’s Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, Diaz will earn a Master’s degree in aeronautics this year.

Flight instructor Francisco Diaz, originally from the Dominican Republic, became a U.S. Citizen in the shadow of historic NASA rockets at the Kennedy Space Center on July 1, 2010
Flight instructor Francisco Diaz, originally from the Dominican Republic, became a U.S. Citizen in the shadow of historic NASA rockets at the Kennedy Space Center on July 1, 2010.

Yesterday, Diaz joined 100 others in reciting the Oath of Allegiance, becoming U.S. citizens in the shadow of historic NASA rockets at Kennedy Space Center, just 60 miles from the place he has called home for the last four years.

"For a pilot, Kennedy Space Center is like a dream place," Diaz said. "It's like Disneyland for us."

Diaz says he owes everything to his dad, who petitioned on his behalf in 2004 to come to the U.S. to train to become a pilot. A restaurateur, Diaz's father put three kids through college even after a debilitating illness left him wheelchair-bound.

Though he’s experienced six Fourths of July in the U.S., Diaz says this year's celebration takes on a whole new meaning. A spirit of independence, he says, is "the ability and the resources to follow your dreams."

It's exactly that spirit that motivates Diaz to pursue his dream of flying fighter jets for the U.S. Air Force. Next week, he plans to take his Certificate of Citizenship to the local Air Force recruiter’s office and sign up for Officer Candidate School, a huge step toward realizing that dream. Diaz joined ROTC as a cross-town cadet while attending community college in New York and was actively involved in the program until he completed his studies at Embry Riddle.

Diaz applied for naturalization the day he became eligible (four years and nine months after establishing permanent residence). Becoming a U.S. citizen is the key to a future career as a military pilot. Given the choice between naturalizing last week at the local USCIS office or waiting to participate in today’s event, he says, was a no-brainer.

"Kennedy Space Center represents the dreams of the country. It’s where the space program was born," said Diaz. "It's the most special place to have the ceremony."



At July 2, 2010 at 12:33:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The meaning of Freedom as far as the Legal immigrants Especially EB-3 India is concerned are blocked by USA Administration & congress. so this July 4th is not really a celebration of Freedom.

Lot of people waiting expecting a relief at least to apply for EAD and AP, People are here for 10 Years as good as tax payers like US Citizen. because of no political will or political party to support them, US is playing tricks with their life and future. No more USA is land of opportunities lot of Brain drain happened and happening still.

Mr.Mayorkas do you have an ear to listen to this? or Mr.President just flowery speech will not help us we need Action at the earliest hour.

At July 2, 2010 at 12:47:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yay for Francisco!

But there are many others who are still waiting to even get their greencard. These people waiting in line for their 485 are locked in their jobs because of the vagueness of Section 106(c) of Public Law 106-313: "The applicant’s new job is in the same or similar occupational classification as the job for which the petition was filed."

Can you publish more detailed information about what does or doesn't constitute a same or similar occupational classification!

And of course if the Visa's that have been wasted over the last 10 years can get recaptured, than all the applicants who should already have received their greencards would not have to deal with this problem any longer.

At July 2, 2010 at 6:44:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

People in congress, president, senate or administration officials ..everyone talk about 10 million illegals in this country. If issuing green card is going to take more than 15 to 20 years, do you guys think people come legally and work legally? Just because of your bureaucratic problems, people and country are suffering. And as always smart business people take advantage of this, mint money. Even now if you guys are not realising this, will suffer more when China and India grows more and more. The reason would be BRINA DRAIN because of green card refusal.

India EB-3 is hurting a lot here. Paid taxes since 2002. Please recapture unused visas and give us some relief form this mental pressure.

At July 5, 2010 at 10:29:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

the beacon is not as bright as it used yo be before!

At July 26, 2010 at 8:23:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Bonita Springs, FL said...

Congratulations to Mr. Diaz. It is these type of stories that remind us that immigration can benefit our country as well by bringing in highly qualified individuals who make our country stronger. It is also a great story of how hard work and dedication can pay off.

At July 28, 2010 at 3:35:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Catherine Bischoff said...

Gaining citizenship of a country like the United States is a matter of pride and honor. The United States is truly one of the greatest countries in the world with a great history. And being able to say that you're not merely one with a permanent residential status, but also a citizen, is something so many people crave for. So, congratulations to Mr. Diaz. Well deserved!

At August 12, 2010 at 3:08:00 PM EDT , Anonymous charlie said...

An American story. Much like that of my grandfather. Congratulations Mr Diaz and thank you


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