Dario’s Testimony: DC New American Workforce Participant

In 2000, at only eight-months old, Dario started a new chapter with his family. Like most parents, Dario’s father sought to find a better quality of life for his family, which brought them to the United States. Originally from Argentina, Dario shared that his family struggled to assimilate at first because of their inability to speak the English language. However, they put their best foot forward and after some time, they not only overcame this language barrier, but made a new home in Washington D.C. While this new transition can be quite challenging for many immigrants, Dario and his family had a local community of friends to help them adapt more smoothly.

Fast forward to 2019 — Dario’s entire family applied for citizenship within a few months of each other. His father learned about this life changing opportunity through the D.C. Government and he encouraged them all to apply. Dario was the second member of his family to successfully become a citizen and he took his naturalization oath of allegiance this past July. When asked what citizenship means to him, Dario responded “it provides me with the opportunity to apply for better jobs”. Dario urges green card holders to naturalize  because he believes individuals will be presented with many more opportunities and most importantly, they will no longer have to deal with the hassles of the immigration system.

Dario found the assistance offered at two workshops hosted by the New American Workforce program extremely informative.  He emphasized that the financial assistance from the DC Mayor’s Citizenship Fund was also incredibly helpful. When asked about his experience with the workshops Dario shared, “the workshop staff guided us through the process, which was great because I was very nervous. I didn’t know much back then but they helped me organize myself, understand legal questions and remember my own information required for the application”.

Dario is currently a college student and in the process of applying for the DC Metropolitan Police Department Cadet Corps program. He had been interested in this program for quite some time, but needed to meet the U.S. citizenship requirement first.  We thank Dario for sharing his story with us and wish him the best with his aspirations of becoming a cadet!

The National Immigration Forum would like to thank Kevin Rojas De León, Integration Programs intern, for capturing this story.

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