Si Senor! I am US citizen

wedding-2Heidy Avila Murillo,
Baltimore, MD.

My marriage is biracial, I am Hispanic and my husband is a Caucasian born in Maryland. This year after obtaining my US citizenship, my husband and I decided to have three days vacations in Canada. We visited Niagara Falls, Toronto city, and since I love Diego Rivera’s artwork, we decided to have an adventurous driving trip and passed by Detroit Museum of Art, which has original copies of Rivera’s murals.

When passing through the border checkpoint between Canadian area and Detroit, an officer asked for our passports, he reviewed mine very carefully. He started asking us what was our relationship? We said we are married, He replay for how long?, we answer 4 years. He asked back and directed the question toward my husband like if I didn’t understand English, and said Why she hasn’t change her name? My husband replied, “Well she doesn’t want it. “ After that he asked more questions; from where we are coming from? For how long we have been in Canada?, what was our purpose of coming to Detroit? For how long we are planning to stay in Detroit etc, etc. Still after answered all his questions, he didn’t seem satisfied. At the end he told us to park our cars and so we can pass by the office to be checked.

I got it officers in any checkpoint border need to check people’s passports, but this officer’s behavior wasn’t correct, why all that questions? What if we were just being friends, or complete strangers? What it is wrong if I don’t want to change my Latino name for a more Westernized? we were after all US citizens.

With this experience, the only conclusion that I can make is that his officer had his head “full of stereotypes” I guess it was hard for him to accept the idea that biracial marriages really exist, and that people like me “Hispanic looking” can also be citizens like him, but I don’t blame him, my passport was the only evidence that I had to prove it.


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