Twenty years ago, a adolescent Austrian woman with big agreeable dreams accustomed in the United States with an “entrepreneurial spirit” advised attenuate for her homeland.
“Here, you are encouraged, not alone by ancestors but by association to do that crazy, abandoned dream, whether it’s acting in LA., autograph a book or actuality a musician,” Ariane Cap said. “In Austria, there’s a lot of skepticism. It’s ‘Why would you appetite to do that?’ There’s not absolutely a acceptance in someone.”
Though Cap continued ago baffled that active adventure of active the acknowledged StepUp Music in Vallejo as she became a abundant approved bass player, there was a abandoned that a Green Agenda couldn’t fill.
She couldn’t vote.
So this accomplished Tuesday, Cap and 2,600 others were affidavit in as citizens of the United States of America at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
“It’s been a continued journey,” Cap said, 48 hours afterwards the “amazing” acquaintance of adopting her appropriate duke with so abounding others from so abounding added countries.
Cap said she’s been “blown away” by the abutment from accompany and adolescent musicians with hundreds acknowledging her accomplishment on her Facebook page.
“It’s absolutely remarkable,” she said, acknowledging that at the Staples Center commemoration “there were tears, definitely. It was a celebration.”
Cap said she realizes there were abounding of those affidavit in “who accept gone through abundant added than me, advancing actuality (to America) with annihilation but their backpacks.”
Yet, accepting U.S. citizenship “is a life-altering moment,” said Cap.”There are two things you can’t do with alone a Green Card: You can’t do board assignment and you can’t vote. I anticipate I’ve gotten 10 board assignment belletrist and every time I accelerate it aback with copies of my Green Agenda and say, ‘Sorry, I’m not allowed.’”
Unlike abounding who try to brim a board summons, Cap looked advanced to it “as continued as it doesn’t baffle with touring.”
Voting? That’s a altered matter. It’s a done deal, admitting acceptable she’ll vote by mail.
“I’m a actual adamant person,” Cap said. “But if a chat (about politics) got deeper, I’d accept to say, ‘Well, I can’t vote.’”
Now she can.
“Sitting there with 2,600 added bodies and on the big awning with a big account of all these countries (represented) and acumen there are added countries that aren’t chargeless than ones that are free,” Cap said. “I had a lot of gratitude.”
Cap was handed a aborigine allotment agenda aback she entered the architecture and told to ample it out “but you can’t assurance them because you’re not a aborigine yet,” she said.
When the commemoration ended, “we coiled our little flags, did our adjuration and they said, ‘Now you can sign.’”
Cap was a academy apprentice out of Vienna aback she landed Florida 20 years ago. Classically accomplished by amorous about jazz, she accomplished every alive moment.
“If you are a applesauce artist in Austria, you’re not absolutely taken seriously,” Cap says.
Granted, to get here, “there was a lot of hoops to jump through, a lot of paperwork,” she said.
Cap anchored a additional scholarship and a apprentice visa.
“You don’t apperceive if you’re activity to break or go back. So you’re in this limbo,” she said.
Cap activated for an “Extraordinary Ability Visa” with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, but the advocate she and her bedmate assassin vanished.
“She aished on us with all the paperwork,” Cap said. “She skipped the country or something. We had to alpha over. It was a disaster.”
Fortunately, Cap got the Green Agenda — accepting it a year afore the Sept. 11, 2001 agitator attacks.
“It was advantageous timing,” she said. “After 9/11 happened, anybody with a apprentice acceptance was beatific home. It was appealing close.”
It was consistently somewhat hasty aback Americans would altercate abandon and patriotism, Cap said.
“I was chargeless (in Austria) but you never talked about it,” she said. “I accept to say that afterwards activity through the accomplished process, it is a big deal.”
After accepting two Green Agenda extensions, Cap said she “thought for a continued time” whether to become a bifold citizen.
“At aboriginal I wasn’t sure. Wanting to vote became a big allotment of it,” she said.
Cap appreciates the Austrian anatomy of government that offers abundant affair options “and I absence that. There’s a lot of agitation and back-and-forth and that’s a acceptable process. Here, the country is 50-50 disconnected and actual polarized. It’s adamantine to allocution about an affair after bodies accepting affecting and I anticipate that’s absolutely unfortunate.”
Though Cap had to acknowledgment abundant questions and accord with the paperwork of citizenship, it was annihilation like aboriginal accepting access into the U.S. for a Green Card, she said.
“They had to accomplish abiding I wasn’t a agitator and that I never had added than one alliance at a time. It was about 100 questions,” she said.
It’s a time-consuming and complicated acknowledged action to get to area she is, Cap said.
“You accept to be acutely careful. If you put one affair afore the other, you’re out,” she said.
With acclamation day Nov. 6 closing in, Cap can’t wait.
“I’m absolutely attractive advanced to that and absolutely attractive advanced to allegorical myself,” she said. “And I’m absolutely attractive advanced to the bounded elections.”
While sitting at the citizenship commemoration flanked by one man from South Korea and addition from the Dominican Republic, Cap advised the bread bung of one’s beginning.
“It’s such a abandoned thing, the abode you happened to be built-in and it makes a huge appulse on your life,” Cap said.
The bass amateur was absolutely aing to actuality built-in in America. Her parents were already actuality with her ancestor teaching at Princeton. But her mom, 40 and forth in the pregnancy, yearned to accept her babe built-in in Austria.
“So she flew home to accord bearing to me,” said Cap, alone a few weeks old aback her mother alternate to the United States. A year later, the ancestors was aback in Innsbruck.
“Maybe that aboriginal cruise akin my adulation for America,” Cap said.
As for that accomplished board thing. It’s not article that should be taken lightly, Cap said.
“It’s an acumen into our administrative action and its continued and actual able history,” she said. “It recognizes the appropriate of the individual. It’s appealing amazing. The arrangement has its problems, no agnosticism about it. But it’s the best we’ve got.”
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