ROCHESTER, Minn. -
It is a big deal to become an American citizen - one has to work very hard. You have to stay in the country for a few years as an immigrant, file an application, do an interview and take a civics test before finally taking the oath. For Joy Hove, she faced a lot of barriers after she immigrated to the United States from the Philippines as a conditional resident.
"It becomes emotional because after 4 months my husband passed away," Hove said. "This is the father of my children so I was left in the country with two children."
After Hove's husband died, she had to figure out a way to make a life for herself.
"I was not working at the time, I did not know how to drive," Hove said. "I gained my strength to be in the U.S. to be able to pursue the dream that I want my children to have."
But she persevered - becoming a citizen in November 2006. Now she serves as a Supervising Immigration Services Officer in Minneapolis.
"It completely changed my life because people must be able to understand the benefit and opportunity of becoming a U.S. citizen, I don't take that for granted," Hove said.