December 9, 2003 - Issue: Vol. 149, No. 176 — Daily Edition108th Congress (2003 - 2004) - 1st Session
RECOGNIZING MIGUEL ARIAS AS HE IS SWORN IN AS A UNITED STATES CITIZEN
(Extensions of Remarks - December 09, 2003)
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[Extensions of Remarks] [Page E2528] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] RECOGNIZING MIGUEL ARIAS AS HE IS SWORN IN AS A UNITED STATES CITIZEN ______ HON. CALVIN M. DOOLEY of california in the house of representatives Monday, December 8, 2003 Mr. DOOLEY of California. Mr. Speaker, I rise to pay tribute to a young man who is being sworn in today as a citizen of the United States of America. Over the past 2 years, Miguel Arias has been a member of my staff in my Fresno, California and Washington, DC offices. Over that time, Miguel has shown that he is dedicated to his family, his friends, his community, and his country. I am honored to rise in this chamber and welcome Miguel as a citizen of the United States. Miguel was born in Apatzingan, a small city in the state of Michoacan, Mexico. He and his mother, Teresa Arias, immigrated to the United States when he was 2 years old. The Arias family settled in Mendota, California, a small farming community on the western edge of the San Joaquin Valley. It was in Mendota that Miguel began working in the fields picking onions, tomatoes, and melons to earn extra money for his mother, sister, and five brothers. In spite of his long and hard hours in the fields, Miguel excelled academically at Mendota High School and found time to participate in numerous extracurricular activities, including wrestling. Upon graduation from Mendota High School, Miguel enrolled at California State University, Fresno, where studied criminology while working for both the Mendota High wrestling team and the Fresno County Economic Opportunities Commission. In May 2001, he became the first person in his family to graduate from college, earning a Bachelor's degree in criminology from CSU Fresno. Following his graduation, Miguel began working for me as a staff assistant in my district office, where he made a very strong impression both with me, and with the constituents contacting my office. He was promoted to caseworker, where he specialized in immigration issues facing the people of my district. It was in this role where Miguel provided his most significant contribution to his community. Miguel has become an expert in the process of immigration to the United States by helping many people in my district obtain visas, work permits, and citizenship. Miguel was a leader in developing and executing the Mendota Project, which counseled parents and students at Mendota High School on the timeline of the immigration process and advised students on how to continue their education in colleges and universities while they waited for their legal immigration papers. The Mendota Project provided significant assistance to many people in my district who were struggling with immigration issues. Because of Miguel's leadership and dedication to the people of his community, the Mendota Project was an incredibly successful immigration education venture. His expertise on immigration policy was also apparent when, earlier this year, he counseled a summer intern in my office through the process of obtaining citizenship. Miguel's commitment to improving and assisting the immigrant community has not only been important to my office, but to the residents of the San Joaquin Valley. I want to express my congratulations to Miguel as he reaches the culmination of a very long process that required a lot of hard work. Miguel has set a tremendous example for many of the immigrants he has helped while working in my office. Because of his hard work, determination, and community involvement, I have no doubt that he will continue to be an important role model in his community. In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate Miguel Arias today as he is sworn in as a citizen of the United States of America. ____________________