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Marc Fest

From Germany

Becoming an American Citizen was one of the best decisions I ever made. I don’t want to go into what put me in the category for “extraordinary abilities”, getting me my green card in 2005 (even though this site asks to include “special accomplishments”). Suffice it to say that it involved an ultimately failed software project that at one point, however, received a good deal of publicity. At any rate, for quite a while I felt that my new permanent resident status might be sufficient. Why not go on indefinitely like that? I loved my green card, and its intricate security patterns. (Did you know that the cards include a dozen or so pin-head-sized portraits of American Presidents on their back?) But after five years, when citizenship became an option, I felt that something had changed in me. I just cared too much about America to go as neither fish nor fowl. There was a wonderful aspect to my naturalization interview, which is the last step before the actual naturalization ceremony. The USCIS interviewer was a nice woman who was an immigrant herself, from Ireland (I am German-born). She also had lived in Germany for a while, and was eager to show off her command of the German language. So she conducted most of my naturalization interview in German. Only in America!

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