WHEN I FLEW 30,000 feet over the Rio Bravo from Atlanta to Guadalajara on an icy (in Atlanta) night on January 20, 2000, I had a few plans, but becoming a Mexican was not one of them.
My plan consisted of three parts:
1. Learn Spanish.
2. Get married.
3. Build a house.
I had completed all three in three years. Well, the Spanish was dicey in 2003, but that’s all I spoke because my child bride’s English was — and continues to be — marginal.
One thing not on my sketchy list of plans was becoming a Mexican citizen. Hadn’t even entered my aging mind. It was only after I had been here a spell that I began to see the advantages.
The pluses* were that I do not have to renew my visa every year. I can now vote against Latino leftists. I can open a bank account without, one hopes, Barry breathing down my neck to support his socialistic schemes. I can tell Mexicans that I am a paisano. It makes me look good. I possess two passports. Basically, it’s just fun.
For anyone planning to spend the rest of his life in Mexico, becoming a citizen is — as the old phrase goes — a no-brainer. And, amazingly, it was very easy, a piece of chili cake.
From what I can make out, there was a window of opportunity, possibly unintentional on Mexico’s part, from about 1999 to 2005 in which one might become a citizen without doing much of anything aside from asking.
No language test. No history test. No civics test. Nada. I typed out an application form (see photo), provided a few mugshots, paid about a hundred bucks, and sat back. It was like renewing the yearly visa.
Eleven months later, I had my sombrero, black mustache and bottle of tequila. It’s nice to be part of a nation on its way up instead of on its way down — into the abyss. I shall mention no names.
It was a great idea. Note to Mexico: Thanks for letting me in.
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* At that time. In recent years, the visa situation has been totally revamped.
(Here is an earlier version of the event in question.)