N.C. Department of Correction--Correction News--August 1998

New U.S. citizen receives patriotic welcome

RALEIGH — Dressed in red, white and blue, staff from the department’s central engineering section gathered in the parking lot outside of their offices early Wednesday morning, June 24 to await the arrival of their co-worker, Viren Tailor. As he pulled into the parking lot, they waved American flags, streamers and pinwheels, welcoming Tailor, one of the United States’ newest citizens.

Just the day before, Tailor, a construction and design technician with the department, traveled to Charlotte to participate in a naturalization ceremony where he officially became a citizen of the United States.

All smiles, Tailor was obviously touched by the patriotic greeting from his co-workers.

"Wow, this is so great," he exclaimed. "I was expecting something, but this is overwhelming."

Originally from India, Tailor has lived in the United States with his wife, who is also from India, for the past seven years. He said in order to become an American citizen, one must be a legal, permanent resident of the United States for five years before being allowed to apply for a naturalization permit.

After applying for the permit, applicants must pass a test on U. S. history and culture before they can be sworn in as legal citizens of the United States.

"I think requiring us to study the history and culture is the right way to go," he said. "This is information that every citizen of the United States should know."

Raised in the western part of India near Bombay, Tailor received his bachelor’s degree in India, but said he always dreamed of living in the United States.

"America is the land of opportunity," he said. "Anyone in America that is willing to work and who has some skills has the opportunity to move upward even if they come from nothing. That is not so in all countries. When we came here, we had nothing – just some knowledge. It’s easier for anyone to be successful in life here than in other countries."

One of Tailor’s co-workers in the engineering section, Brenda Kendig, said Tailor’s excitement over becoming a U.S. citizen has rubbed off on those around him.

"I was born an American citizen, but Viren chose to be one," she said. "His enthusiasm makes me stop and think about the things I’ve always taken for granted."

Talking with Tailor, it is obvious that he will never take his new citizenship for granted.

"I have reached a great milestone in my life by becoming a citizen of the United States," he said. "It is a great honor for me. This country has trusted me and my ability by giving me citizenship and the very prestigious right of voting for my country. I promise that I’ll be conscientious and dutiful in carrying out my responsibilities as a citizen of America."

Glenn Ervin, Tailor’s supervisor, said he has no doubt that Tailor will work hard at being a good citizen of the United States.

"Viren has shown himself to be a dedicated employee, and I’m sure he will carry out his citizenship responsibilities in the same manner," he said. "Now, we can talk politics!" u

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