Becoming a U.S. Citizen: Romanian-born- Valeriu Vasilescu is living his Dream as an American Citizen

Becoming a U.S. Citizen: Romanian-born- Valeriu Vasilescu is living his Dream as an American Citizen
Photo Credit: Maya Eliahou and Ray Sanchez, CNN

Do newcomers appreciate becoming American citizens today more than ever before?

In lieu of an administration that is quickly proving to be less immigrant-friendly. Many people are feeling apprehension as they dream of one-day holding American citizenship. In light of current developments, like the recently upheld travel ban, many people are feeling proud now, more than ever to have finished their journey towards American citizenship.

One of those lucky new Americans is a 37-year-old, Romanian-born Valeriu Vasilescu. Vasilescu was born in Bucharest where he lived under a strict, communist regime. Since his freedom was severely limited, Vasilescu had little say on small matters like what to wear or how to express his fondness of his various interests, including anything American.

Many people dream to become a U.S. citizen

Vasilescu’s mother was a ballerina in Romania but later escaped communism with Vasilescu. They fled to Greece, seeking political asylum in the United States in 1990. Their application was approved and they were provided with a green card. Vasilescu remembers seeing other people become citizens, a decision that was always his dream.

Just over two decades later and Vasilescu’s dream finally became a reality. The citizenship process took about 3 months for him and he took his oath in Tampa, Florida in April of 2018. In the room were other potential citizens from almost 50 countries around the world, all hoping to achieve their dreams of becoming American citizens.

Becoming a U.S. citizen in time of Trump

“What’s going on with the Trump administration certainly made me more aware of how important it is for me to take this step and become a citizen” -Vasilescu

Thinking about stories, like those of Central Americans unable to enter the United States and the current travel ban, Vasilescu is happy to have become an American citizen. While he celebrates his newfound independence as an American citizen, it’s also important to think of those whose freedom and movement to and in America has been restricted.

These people should no longer suffer under the grip of repression from their home countries. Hopefully, they can one day like Vasilescu, come to a country where they won’t have to.

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The Refugee Center Online Hall of Fame features refugees and immigrants from around the United States who are making a difference in their communities. At the Refugee Center Online, we believe newcomers make our country a better place. The individuals we feature show exactly that - they are examples of how immigrants and refugees contribute to our country. If you are interested in being featured or would like to nominate an individual to be featured in our Hall of Fame, email: wilson@therefugeecenter.org.