Guam native fights to prove citizenship in Texas - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Guam native fights to prove citizenship in Texas

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by Mindy Aguon

Guam - After years of dedicating her life to defending our freedom, one Guam daughter has been left with another battle.  After relocating to the States in hopes of making a better life for her family, she's been left to prove her citizenship in the mainland. 

A woman has been fighting to prove her citizenship in the state of Texas, where she and her husband are trying to build a better life for their four daughters. Veronica Baza left Guam last October and relocated to Grand Prairie, where she and her husband and their girls began a new life.

For the last six months, Veronica has been on a waiting list on Tarrant County's Child Care Management Services. The agency administers federal money to assist working parents who also attend school with child care services.  It's similar to Guam's block grant program. But earlier this week, Baza was appalled at the letter she received in the mail.

"On June 20, I had received a letter that night that we were not eligible to receive the benefits for the following reasons: that my children are not citizens of the United States," she detailed.

The letter came just days after veronica had provided the CCMS with documents including her children's birth certificates from Guam, their Social Security Cards, as well as indications that her children carried U.S. Passports and copies of her military ID. She thought contacting a supervisor at CCMS would provide some relief but she was sorely mistaken, saying, "He laughed about it and said the letter is true and he actually had gone to college and he has never been taught or never had heard anything about Guam existing or even being a territory of the U.S."

Veronica was disgusted that all of the documents she submitted weren't enough to justify their citizenship. "I was treated like a second-class citizen in some sort and being a part of the National Guard and serving all these years and then reflecting back on all our fallen brothers and sisters who gave their lives just being at the frontlines who are from Guam just to know that people don't know what we have sacrificed to gain our citizenship and yet we still have to fight to prove ourself [sic]," she said.

The supervisor eventually called her back and apologized after doing his own research and realizing that Guam is, in fact, a U.S. territory. While she still hasn't received acceptance for child care services (there are a few more hurdles to clear), Baza is just hoping her situation will be an eye-opener to island leaders. She told KUAM News, "We need to spread the word about who we are and although we're just a dot on the map of the world, we stand for a lot more than that.

"And it just seems like some people just take us as a joke, because they're uneducated or because they're ignorant to the fact that we're more than that and it's unfair."

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