(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 []



                         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.