Man living in The United States with Green Card for 40 years
finally becomes American citizen
As of Tuesday, the United States has 23 new citizens, including a man who has lived here for 40 years legally as a Green Card holder.
Tho Nguyen’s family fled Communist Vietnam on a shrimp boat in 1978, and he’s been here (legally) on a Green Card ever since.
“I’ve always felt like I was a citizen, because I’ve been here for so long, but now it’s true,” Nguyen said to a crowd at his naturalization ceremony.
He’s worked across the country as a chef and has been married to an American for 17 years.
“He had all of the old-fashioned values that you look for in a man!” said Nguyen’s wife, Suzanne Nguyen. “Our first date was to church…I had asked God for a man who put God first, family second, and job third, and it all fell into place.”
To commemorate the naturalization ceremony, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi sent Nguyen home with a certificate and an American flag.
But his stepson, a military veteran, had an even more memorable gift: the pin from his army service uniform.
“I’m so proud of what he’s been able to accomplish,” said Nguyen’s stepson, Michael Watkins. “He acts like it’s not a big deal, but he knows exactly what all went into this. And I have so much respect for him for doing this.”
Nguyen said his parents always wanted him to get his citizenship and when his father passed away a few years ago, he decided to honor that.
“My mom and dad were scared that I might get deported, for any type of reason,” he said. “I feel relief pretty much.”
The process took him two years.
“You’ve got to do it right, you know? Like everybody else. You go through the process, the paperwork, stuff like that,” added the new citizen.