Homeless Man Takes Oath Of Citizenship

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Immigrant > Orozco has faith in his new country

By Arin McKenna

The path to citizenship is a long and grueling process, often involving years of preparation.

Achieving that cherished goal is challenging under the best of circumstances; achieving it while unemployed and homeless takes unimaginable fortitude.

Luis Enrique Orozco may have little else, but he has that fortitude. Orozco came to the United States from Mexico 20 years ago.

“I wanted to look for new horizons. I wanted to become a better person, find more opportunities,” Orozco said through interpreter Carlos Carulo.

Orozco has supported himself by cleaning houses and doing yard work. He was steadily employed until December, when the company he was working for let him go because of his age. Orozco is 60 years old.

Since then, Orozco has been surviving with the help of friends, food stamps and taking any odd jobs he can get. He keeps himself fit by taking advantage of $1 Wednesdays at the Genoveva Chavez Community Center in Santa Fe so he will be ready to work if the opportunity arises.

Santa Fe Immigration law Attorney Victoria Ferrara provided her services to Orozco pro bono to help him fulfill his dream of becoming a citizen.

When asked why he continued in his quest for citizenship under such difficult circumstances, Orozco replied, “I believe that by becoming a citizen, my life will improve. And, thanks to God, and to President Barack and Gov. Susana Martinez, I’m going to get ahead.”

But just after saying that, Orozco broke down. “I have a lot of problems. I really need to work, to be able to pay my insurance and this and that,” Orozco said.

Orozco pulled himself together and continued.

“But I have faith and confidence that things will turn my way, because there are good people in the world, who will have compassion for my predicament, and help me to get some work. Because I want to be useful to the United States of America,” Orozco said. “I’m coming up, thanks to my desire to keep on living, to keep on trying.”

Orozco can be reached through Victoria Ferrara at 988-5568.