“The American dream has become something much more closely resembling a nightmare, on the private, domestic, and international levels.” — James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time
On page 12 of the standard N-400 Application for Naturalization, all foreign-born persons seeking U.S. citizenship are asked, “Have you EVER been a member of, or in any way associated (either directly or indirectly) with the Communist Party?” It is a yes or no question. Why is it there to begin with? Under Chapter 7 of its General Naturalization Requirements, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website explains that “current and previous membership” in organizations like the Communist Party “may indicate a lack of attachment to the Constitution and an indication that the applicant is not well disposed to the good order and happiness of the United States.” Consequently, an applicant “cannot naturalize” if they have been “affiliated with the Communist Party” or “advocated communism” within ten years preceding their filing for naturalization. Possible exemptions from this rule include applicants who establish that their prior membership or affiliation with the Communist Party was “involuntary”; “without awareness of the nature or aims of the organization”; or “necessary for purposes of obtaining employment, food rations, or other essentials of living.” Applicants who terminated their membership at the age of sixteen years-old or younger, or whose membership ended over ten years before filing for naturalization are likewise exempt. These clarifications, though helpful, leave the original question of why unanswered.
With an open mind and two sides of the story, you’re bound to learn something new. Welcome to the zoo! This is a blog where both the Republican and Democratic viewpoints are represented. The blog is not meant to sway you either way necessarily, just to present both sides of the story. You may not agree with the whole article, but hey, you’re likely to agree with half!
Lunch was probably my least favorite part of elementary school. Now don’t get me wrong, I wanted a break from school as much as everyone else. When asked what my favorite class in school was, I would always cheekily respond with “Recess.” Yet, without fail, five minutes before the bell would signal the end of fourth period, a knot in my stomach would begin to form. During school, I felt like all my other classmates. We all took the same classes, we all struggled over the same homework, and we all played the same games.
I am the child of immigrants. I am the child of two people who moved to another country with not a penny to their names and worked themselves to the bone for twenty years to finally earn a small house with a yellow lawn and white picket fence. My parents worked hard and endured continuous years of hardship because they were promised a light at the end of the tunnel. My family is The American Dream personified. And just as my parents’ lives were strung along by a longheld promise, my life has been shaped by that same promise.
If not for the strong desire to assimilate into American culture, the film world would have struggled to launch itself. Immigrants came to America and found it easier to adopt these values instead of embracing their own culture. However, the content of film was just as important. With this, there was an ability to make, edit and distribute movies. There was a drive in the technological world, thanks to Thomas Edison and Eadweard Muybridge.