Responses to Dream Acts from students at Queens College

Hello Dreamers, it’s Nicole! It has been a while since I posted something on our discussion page. The team’s recuperating from our successful run of Dream Acts, which I hope you all had a chance to see. If not here are some responses to the show from a group of students at Queens College. Keep checking our website for updates and events about the DREAM Act or Dream Act Union. I’m working on a post about my experiences with the Dream Act Union so keep a look out for that post!

 [Blog for Intro to Creative Writing 210W – Bernofsky] Comment: “Responses to Dream Acts”

Author : lchan107


The Dream Acts play was very unique experience for me. I am always very use to the extravagant or odd costumes, and very elaborate backgrounds. But, for the Dream Acts play, there were no real backgrounds, or huge costumes. It was all left for us to imagine and, I feel, for us to focus on the matter at hand [which were the issues of being undocumented individuals]. The actors and actresses plays many roles [probably five characters to a performer], but yet each role was done so well where we were able to tell which character was out on stage. I found that very remarkable and impressive, I felt that I saw legit professionals out there or can see what a true professional can do.
The thing that struck me the most was the depiction of an active forum on the internet. All of the performers were moving nonstop in a square/grid-like pattern .I felt that kind of movement was to represent the computer world, since it does work on a grid, While the performers non-stop moving represented how a person moves though the forums/internet—non-stop. Each performer would stop to talk, but only right after one finishes talking, which depicted how one would stop at a forum topic, to type up a message and post, and how others would stop to respond to it. That I found was very well done, and quite ingenious.  I don’t think I would ever get over that was of depicting a conversation on the internet forums.
The way [right at the end] when a few of the undocumented individuals went out to protest and defend for their rights and the Dream Acts was so powerful. I actually got shivers from that one particular scene. Probably, because that scene was just amazing; to have the idea of many individuals to fight for something that is so important and so wonderful to them. It really gave out the sense of hope and strength to band as one whole group, instead of just hiding in fear, all by themselves.  The way the performers even portrays it was just so moving and felt very real, as if you were there. This I felt was the main message, to be able to fight for something that will be a positive life changing moment, such as the Dream Acts.
It was really cool how every character shown was linked to many characters. In a way to show that we are all connected and close by, even if we are unaware of it. It just seems to give the message that we aren’t alone. As well as that many have the same problems of being undocumented, and are virtually trapped by laws and society. It does bring out the awareness that many undocumented individuals are suffering, and trying so hard to find a way out.
Overall, it was just an amazing experience. The way the stories were told and connected was amazing. It was great to know how much research was put into this, to make these stories very real and believable. The actors and actresses made it all the more powerful with their talents. The messages given out in this play was just so very important and meaningful.  Everything about the play was fantastic and enjoyable. As well as being very informative, and a way to start a huge change and awareness for others who didn’t know what issues undocumented individuals are facing, and how these Dream Acts will help them out and make the country a better place for all.
Author : izabela88


I’ve decided to see this play because of two reasons, first is that the theme of the play is really interesting because of my personal experience. I met a lot of young people who are struggling in the US due to the fact that they are undocumented. I am an immigrant and I am familiar with the bureaucracy and the limited options to get a “green card” to become a legal resident. Second reason why I wanted to see the performance was the opportunity to attend the discussion before the play. I was able to get a lot of information not maybe specifically about the play, but about the organizations who are helping undocumented youth and are fighting for the legislation of Dream Act.  I support the idea that the theater as a medium that can change the views, opinions and make difference in the society. For those who don’t know what is Dream Act the play gives a chance to understand the whole movement of “Dreamers” and the idea behind it. It definitely breaks the stereotypes about undocumented people in the US.
I love the fact that the play was not performed on a huge scene with a lot of decorations. Simplicity made it special. The only thing I concentrated on was the message of the play. I was able to hear the voices of people who were an inspiration for this performance. The forum/chat on the stage when the actors were walking all together, showed many voices of the undocumented immigrants. Later in the play the audience could hear also the views of other people who were against the “Dream Act”. Different views gave the audience broad perspective of this problem. Each story presented the struggle of undocumented people in their everyday life. The story of a boy from Turkey, who wasn’t able to get the driver license, really moved me. For many people driver license is such a trivial thing in life, like eating and sleeping. To him driving illegally was a sentence even to deportation. All characters were living under the radar and fear that they can get arrested. How many of us could life under such pressure and stress? They all were brought to US by their parents, without the right to choose where they want to live. Raised in the US they were connected with American culture and this was their home. I like the fact the they call themselves “dreamers”, the name was ironic but also full of hope. In case of the girl from Nigeria, “America” was a salvation and that was strongly expressed in the lyrics of the song which she emotionally sang at the beginning of the play: “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine”. Unfortunately there was no “sunshine” for her without the legal papers, no chance for well-paid job, health insurance and so on. The theme of the play is political but few scenes had some humorous elements. I think the play was entertaining and can be interesting for those who are not into politics.  Even though the play mostly focused on the negative aspects of being undocumented, in the end of there is a hope. The characters explain possibilities and briefly explain the rules of the Dream Act.Overall that was a wonderful experience and I’ll definitely recommend the play to those who are and who are not familiar with the idea of “Dream Act”.

Author: valerieparris


“Dream Acts” is a play written by Chiori Miyagawa, Mia Chung, Jessica Litwak, Saviana Stanescu, and Andrea Thome was not at all what I expected it to be. From the size of the theater and the stage I was wondering just what kind of performance this was going to be. The message that the play was trying to send of was a powerful one but also a controversial one at the same time. I have to admit I was torn on how I felt about the subject. On one hand I can sympathize with the characters because each of them just wanted a chance to live the American dream. They all wanted a chance to educate themselves and to be successful. Also on the other hand a question came to my mind is it really fair that they are trying to fight for something they are not technically entitled to because they came here illegally whether they were even aware of it or not. It is hard for me to pick a side on this because in my experience applying for financial aid I could not get it and I was given a hard time trying to get it and I am a natural born U.S citizen. While foreign born people can obtain fake and false identification and get the aid needed to attend school. I know that through no fault of their own they are in this position and they do struggle so in a way I can sympathize because at the end of the day we all struggle to obtain the same things in a way . What was interesting was that a few of the characters kept referring to themselves as “undocumented children living under the radar” because they were afraid to come out to the public about who they really were and where they came from in fear of ruining everything that their families have worked so hard to build and become. This production opened up my eyes to a few things that I never knew about. Like for example terms such as “The child special immigrant status”, “conditional permanent residency”, and “unrestricted lawful residence”. I had never heard of these before and it was interesting that these referred to steps undocumented children had to take to become legal. Another thing that stuck out to me is the way each person could mimic different accents, that was what made the play to me. The performers did a really good job of taking the audience to that exact place where each kid was at a particular time. It was also interesting how each story had a part in the other; each character knew each other or came in contact with each other at some point in the play. The profanity used was a bit much but I think it added to the intensity of each scene as it was being played out.

Author: mmckiernan8891


In the play “Dream Acts” about undocumented youths a very different point of view is shown. Although it is a fictitious play the story and acting are so compelling that it really does bring the issue of undocumented youths to the audiences attention and tapped into our emotions. Every story represented a young adult of different ethnicity and showed their struggles, fears, and adversities in which they must overcome everyday while just trying to fit into the country they grew up in. I found it very shocking, something in both the panel discussion and play how many young adults are born into a life in which they aren’t even aware they’re undocumented and the detrimental effect it has. It made me think growing up any of us could have been in their shoes thinking everything was fine living a normal life only to be blindsided by that. Although overtly political the play still had its very funny bits and definitely made youthful jokes that were very contemporary with the times. I also found it very helpful to pleading the plays message by presenting both sides of the argument and responses that highlighted the dream act. Overall i think a few things may have been brushed over in the play but overall the writing was witty and sharp and the actors were all great presenting diverse and emotional performances. I felt this play really brought an issue i knew very little about to my attention, and while i think there is more to the story then what was talked about in the play the message was very clear, concise and positive.

Author: karlaps


I really, really enjoyed the entire Dream Acts talk-back and play. Hearing the talk-back before seeing the play was a little bit confusing because I thought that it was going to be about the play, but really it had very little to do with the actual writing of it. Still, the stories of the people on the panel and the background of the Dream Acts were important for understanding that the stories in the play weren’t just about individuals. In that sense, I got a lot more out of the talk-backs than if I had just seen the play by itself.
The play had a fantastic balance of comedy and seriousness. It must have been really difficult for the actors to switch so quickly between characters of completely opposing viewpoints (the social worker to the old lady in the store to the Korean girl, or the jail guard to the Middle Eastern guy to the store owner – every single actor had 3 characters, I think). I liked the set-up of the pinging chat forum in the beginning, middle, and end that separated the stages of each character’s story. Overall, I think it was a really excellent play. It really showed how the failure of the Dream Acts to pass through the Senate had a huge blow on a lot of people from all over. Again, I think the talk-back seriously helped me get the message.
After the event, my friend’s dad drove us home, and we had a very interesting conversation about Korean immigrants versus Chinese versus Japanese, etc. I like this social theatre genre. I will be sure to look into it more.


Lunch with Marcy Arlin

On a warm spring afternoon, I met Marcy Arlin at a restaurant in Brooklyn to talk about her work as a writer and artistic director of the Immigrant’s Theater Project (ITP).


Nicole: While reading your bio and visiting the website for ITP I was amazed by how much you have done within the theater community and I’m curious as to how your involvement in theater began. At what age did you become involved and what about theater engrossed you?


Marcy: Our parents took us to theatre all the time, and there was something called “Storybook Theatre” that toured the elementary schools. And I remember seeing The Tempest at Stratford, CT and the Caucasian Chalk Circle at Lincoln Center. I used to make my poor sister act out scenes from Romeo and Juliet, and ultimately went to an arts camp for middle and high school. I helped create a children’s theatre club in high school, acted in school plays and was an apprentice at summer stock in Massachusetts. I had the bug, the ability to create a whole new persona, to be funny and crazy and creative. And the magic of the costumes and lights…


Nicole: Could you give a brief explanation about the Immigrant’s Theater Project (ITP) and how its vision manifested? What challenges have you faced to establish and operate ITP?


Marcy: When my company got started there was a lot of backlash against immigrants similar as to what’s going on now with the DREAM Act. It upset me because the people who were unsupportive of immigrants wouldn’t be here if someone in their family had not gotten on a boat! An important goal for me is for people not to base their outlook through an “us and them” lens, which unfortunately is inevitable because as social animals we do that. However, I want to make the “us” a bigger group using theater. Theater is live; it’s one of the good ways to bring people together. The biggest challenge was, like everyone’s, financial and doing a lot of work for little money. With ITP it was, at an early stage, convincing audiences that the immigrant plays were great theatre.


Nicole: Looking back at the productions you’ve been involved with over the years what are things that you believe create a successful performance supporting a social/cultural movement?


Marcy: One thing is that I don’t believe artists should work for free, so I don’t do a project unless there’s some money to support it. I somehow managed to have a lot of influence and do a lot without a lot of money. If you have a vision, the question to ask yourself is, “How much time are you willing to put into making that happen?” The key is to look for the untold stories and making them relevant and universal.


Nicole: As I was reading your bio, Theatre Without Borders caught my eye and I looked up the group’s website. It’s fascinating; could you tell me more about your work with Theatre Without Borders and how has that experience influenced your work as an artist?


Marcy: It’s a virtual (online) place where people can discuss what they’re doing internationally. It’s exclusively online because most people only have access to other people’s project in other countries via the Internet. It’s a free exchange of information. For example if you wanted to know what is going on in Indonesia you can find people who have done stuff in Indonesia. That’s the main function of it. It’s not an organization so it doesn’t have any big funding and that’s one of the big challenges of the group because if someone wants to do a project they have to find a way to fund it. It’s a place for artists who are interested in working in other countries or meeting other people from various countries. It’s social networking for international theatre arts. It has expanded my contact list and I’ve written about them a couple of times. My advice to artists interested in working in other countries is that when you do work internationally or outside of your own comfort of community you have to think of your relationship to the community as an outsider, as a person, as an artist. What do we have to teach each other? How do you work within the communities you work with?


Nicole: In your community-based theatre workshops what do you want to convey to students and what do you hope people to take away from those workshops?


Marcy: When I teach theater there’s always a social agenda. I hope students start thinking a little more about things and they usually do. That’s my bottom line. If they decide they love theater that’s great; if it helps give them a voice to some of the issues in their lives that’s great. I did an exercise on Brecht’s Three Penny Opera and it’s all about how poorer societies can be as materialistic and capitalistic…exploitation creates nothing but exploitation. I took Three Penny Opera and put it into the context of the Bronx community, asking students to give the characters names. By naming the characters with contemporary “Bronx names” (their term), the students then had a discussion about how ethnicity and power influence society, as indicated by their naming. They came up with names they recognize as stereotypical names. Hopefully they are starting to realize that theater is about real life even if it doesn’t take place in your neighborhood.

It is also important that facilitators understand the social context in which they work, the power structures and their involvement in the power structure, their position as outsider and/or insider in the community, and the understanding that there is reciprocity of learning that goes on during the theatre creation process.


Nicole: What groups or organizations would you recommend readers who would like to learn more about the DREAM Act or other immigrant issues?


Marcy: They can look at the American Civil Liberties Union, which has an immigration division. There’s the New York Immigration Coalition, I used to work with them. I spent years trying to convince social service organizations to use theater! They didn’t believe me but now they are starting to look at things differently. It’s great.  The United Nations, International Theatre Institute, and local social service organization in New York City, and I am sure many many more, especially in communities where there is a growing immigrant population. I would also check out the various ethnic newspapers.

Excerpt of Intringulis by Carlo Alban

Hello, it’s Nicole again and this week’s post features Dream Act Union’s advisory board member Carlo Alban. As an undocumented youth, Carlo performed on Sesame Street as a regular cast member. He recently wrote and performed a one-man show Intringulis reflecting his journey on gaining citizenship and has happily provided us with an excerpt to share with you!


Tales From The Street


Pop quiz!  As a teenager I was:  A) in High School; B) high; C) an undocumented immigrant; D) a regular cast member of Sesame Street; or E) all of the above.  The answer is (ding, ding, ding) ‘E’, all of the above.  So I was hiding in plain sight; pretending to be an American teenager while playing one on television.

I fell into acting at the age of eleven, when we accompanied my cousin Vivi to an audition for the musical ‘Oliver!’ in Union City, New Jersey.  We tried out on a whim.  My brother Angelo ended up playing one of Fagin’s boys, and I ended up playing Oliver, my first words on the stage appropriately being, “Please Sir, I want some more.”  From there I ventured on to other projects, eventually auditioning for and landing a role on Sesame Street.  No one on the show had any idea about our legal status and I had to use counterfeit documents to fill out my paperwork.  It seems illogical that my parents would allow me to put myself out there in that way, but if you think about it, what better place to hide than in the spotlight, where no one would suspect you?  And if you think about it some more, we came here for opportunity, as most everyone does, and when opportunity knocked, my Parents didn’t have the heart to say no.

One night before Thanksgiving, I hit my Father.  I threw a fit because he had failed to change a date on my fake green card.  When we’d bought it years before, whoever made mine put the wrong birth date on it. And this is not something you can return.  It’s not like there’s a money-back guarantee on counterfeit documents.  I needed the paperwork to be in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  I was going to ride on the Sesame Street float and sing the song and do the dance in Herald Square before an adoring television audience.  It was all set.  Except that Macy’s, the employer, needed proof that I was allowed to work because I was underage, and for that I needed my fake Green Card, the only illegal document I had that proved I was legally allowed to work!  But it had the wrong birth date.  And I was convinced that someone from Sesame Street was going to notice that date and say, “Wait a second, what’s going on here?  You weren’t born on the Fourth of July.  You were born in October.  We celebrated your birthday just last month in Hooper’s Store while you were chopping onions during the ‘Why Is Carlo Crying’ segment.  Someone call Immigration!”  I was terrified.

So, I had instructed my Father to change the date at his office, assuming of course that he had the forging skills of James Bond.  But my Dad was not an international spy, or a movie star.  He was a cheese monger.  So he didn’t change the date.  And I flipped out.  I kicked over a chair, I flipped over a couch, and I hit my Father.  I punched him in the chest.  He placed his hands on my shoulders to try to calm me down and I grabbed him by the neck and accused him of trying to choke me – very melodramatic.  It runs in the family.  My Mother ran out of the living room crying.  I was crying.  The cat was crying – for food I think.  My Father probably cried, but it must have been in private because I never saw it.  The next morning he drove me into the city at the crack of dawn, and he waited for me patiently in the car while I rode that fucking float and waved to the people lining the streets of Manhattan – hundreds of thousands of people.  And they all waved back, and smiled, as if I was one of them.  And then he drove me home, in a deafening silence.  No one ever looked at the card.

I was paranoid.  The drugs probably didn’t help.  But it was one of the small ways in which we tasted ‘freedom’.  Like the freedom in the smoke of my first cigarette, in a church parking lot, tailgating in my friends’ parents’ station wagon with a light drizzle falling on my head while I spun myself dizzy.  And then I went home and threw up.  But I was free, for the first time.  Up until then breaking the rules had never felt good.  Being undocumented did not feel good.  It wasn’t long before I fell into drugs, one Saturday on lunch break from school play rehearsal in the back of a friend’s jeep on the way to Mickey D’s, waiting for the weed to hit and not feeling anything and feeling gypped, then stepping out of the car and finding myself floating in a bubble down the school hallways paved with marshmallows.  And the world changed.

But I was still illegal.  And it still felt awful.  And still no one knew.  And one day in History class the teacher decided to give us all a lesson in civic responsibility, and so she handed out voter registration forms, because we were all going to be adults soon.  I didn’t want any trouble, so I passed the pile back without taking one.  And while everyone filled out their forms I looked down at the lewd etchings on my desk.  But the teacher saw me and asked if I was going to fill out a form, and I thought to myself fuck it and I just came out and said “No I’m not going to fill out a form because I am not a citizen.”  And she said, “Ok”, and went back to work.  But a guy sitting across from me looked up and said, “You’re not a citizen?  Then get out of my country”.  So I grabbed my history textbook and I bashed him over the head repeatedly until I was covered in blood and bits of his cranium, and no one did anything to stop it because they knew I was justified in doing so!!!  Except that I didn’t really do that because I couldn’t.  And I didn’t say a word because I couldn’t.  I simply sat in silence, the truth that I did not actually belong made suddenly painfully clear.

Around this time I had a recurring nightmare.  It would start out with me sitting in my apartment at 123 Sesame Street practicing counting – “One, Two, Three” – when there’s a knock at the door.  I walk to the door with a cheery disposition and answer with a smile.  On the other side of my smile I see Oscar, looking especially green and smelling especially dirty, flanked by Big Bird and Snuffy, both looking especially gigantic and overbearing.  Oscar asks me if there’s anything I’d like to share with them.  I answer that as much as I am a big fan of sharing… and helping… and compromising, I don’t have anything for them at the moment, but they’re welcome to hang out and count with me if they feel so inclined.  Then Oscar gives a signal and the giant yellow bird and the hairy elephant tackle me to the ground and drag me out of the building.  And outside an angry mob of children and Muppets and “viewers like you” are throwing Styrofoam letters and numbers and chanting “Why is Carlo crying?!” Then out of Hooper’s store they bring a bucket of hot tar, dump it on my head and douse me with a raft of yellow feathers.  And just before I’m dumped into Oscar’s trash can which leads straight to the Immigration Department’s Detention Center, the announcer says “This program has been brought to you by the Number One and by the letters U.S.A.”

Interview with Chiori Miyagawa

Hello, my name is Nicole and I’m working on the Dream Act Union as a student research assistant. I’ll be updating the discussion section of the website with interviews and excerpts by team members of the Dream Act Union and various artists about our play Dream Acts and the DREAM Act itself. My first interview is with Chiori Miyagawa who is one of the five playwrights working on Dream Acts.


Chiori Miyagawa is a Japan-born playwright based in NYC. The following interview comes from an intended Skype interview that due to technical difficulties turned into a pleasant phone conversation where I had the opportunity to discuss the progress of Dream Acts with Chiori and how she became involved in the theater community.


Nicole: Since the performances at HERE will be the play’s first encounter with a public audience, what do you hope to learn about the play? How will it inform the next step of the project?


Chiori: The DREAM Act is a life changing legislation — and the play is trying to inform people about it, rather than  trying to change their  mind. I would like to find out if theatre can do that through storytelling because the DREAM Act is a relatively unknown issue. There have been successful plays about political issues—wars, abortions, gay marriage, etc– that are already well known but the DREAM Act has not received the attention it deserves. The bill will affect the most helpless population of this country. They don’t have a country, and it’s a very scary thing not to have a country to back you up. I’m wondering if an issue that’s not a big media topic can gain support from people through a theatre event.


What I wish to learn for the next step is the most effective way of having a conversation about this issue after the performance. I hope we will learn how to create  a panel discussion or interactive event. At HERE we have a time limit,   so we can’t plan a post-show event.. What we’re trying to do is to reserve a slot for one panel discussion, which is  a separate event. Eventually we would like to have a performance of the play followed by a conversation, and I would like to involve an expert who can answer questions about the state of the DREAM Act or immigrant issues in general.


Nicole: Reading how you never felt like an outsider among the theater community I’m curious to know how you got involved with theatre and playwriting. Was it something you knew you’d be interested from the start?


Chiori: Theater was something new to me that I discovered in grad school. I grew up  in a small town surrounded by vast rural area and mountains and no theater, so I didn’t have an early exposure to seeing theater. I read a lot. My parents were worried about my reading habits and tried to prevent me from reading for hours and hours. I read Shakespeare in Japanese.  In the U.S,I did photography as an undergrad and decided to pursue visual arts. I took some set design classes at Brooklyn College and quickly realized that I didn’t have a talent in visual arts. Then I was invited to join a new MFA program in dramaturgy. It all seemed like a coincidence that I found theatre and  its amazing community of people.


Nicole: Through the play what do you want to convey to your target audience about the Dream Act?


Chiori: We’re not overly ambitious. I think the people who will come to see our project are our friends and colleagues .Many of them will be theater artists who are registered voters, so we’re going to start small and try to raise awareness about the DREAM Act in this particular population of our peers. What we’re counting on is that the live performance will have some impact, as opposed to reading about the issue.



There is a movement by young people called the Dreamers.They are the youth who came to the United States before they were 16 to be with their families. The DREAM Act was conceived for these  undocumented youth. . No politician will be moved on anything based on opinions of people who do not vote. Those of us who do vote should join forces with the Dreamers. The right to vote is the only tangible weapon we have to express our opinions to our government. Our target audience is registered voters who can use that power of one vote to influence Representatives or Senators


Nicole: How would you characterize the final vision of DREAM Acts as a theatrical event? I know the Dream Act project is interested in planning panel discussions and educational events related to the DREAM Act, how would these additional events complement your play as part of a larger program?


Chiori: I think I’ve been talking about that in a roundabout kind of way.  I don’t have the answer, but  I wish to learn, in addition to how people react to the play, what the audience would be interested in discussing. It would be great if the audience is not all made up of the choir. Most of the people who will come will be sympathetic. I don’t think we  will have anti-immigrant population in the theater. I don’t know how that population could ever be reached through theater. Maybe it’s not possible.  However, in the final version, I would like to see occasions where the play is performed to a mixed audience, by that I mean people who have different opinions about immigration and have a discussion about the differences.


The good thing about doing theatre is that I don’t have to have all the answers.  The more people who have ideas get involved, the more effective it will be in the future. The final version will be something I can’t think of right now on my own, but as I talk to more and more people, I will gain new ideas, and I hope new people will play different roles in the project. That’s what I like about theatre. There isn’t a specific  goal I’m aiming  to achieve, but I’m hoping that through this first presentation, I will meet even more people who  may want to take this on with  new approaches that are not mine. . In the end, I would like the performance and conversation to happen without me; meaning,   maybe some people will write their own Dream Acts, in Arizona or somewhere else. I don’t have to be attached to  the project forever.  I just want to get the conversation started.


Nicole: The DREAM Act stands for development, relief, and education for alien minors but on the topic of dreams, what is one dream you have that you would like to share with readers?


Chiori: This last question is really interesting. One dream…I don’t know, that’s also a difficult question because I have to chose carefully if it’s just one. I think that one dream I have right now is for President Obama to have the second term. I know it’s not my life dream,  but it’s my dream for next November and the next four years. That’s what I want most. I haven’t been 100% happy with every decision he has made, but he has kept a lot of his promises. I think the first term is difficult because of the second election, and frankly, the House and Senate are trying to bring him down. That seems to be their political goal. In the next four years, he’s the person who can change the state of the nation and influence the world most. That’s a big impact as opposed to playing to 65 people per performance.  I’m connecting what I was talking about before, about my tiny power,  one vote.I’m going to cast it again for President Obama. I hope to have four more years during which I can feel comfortable about the choice I made to become American.