As Mines students returned to school at the end of August, one Mines alum celebrated the culmination of a long and difficult process. Dr. Guillermo Dante Ramirez Rodriguez and his wife, Martha Lorena Renteria, were granted United States citizenship at Rocky Mountain National Park on Wednesday, August 10th. Dante received his PhD in Mining Engineering from CSM in 2007 after studying at the school for six years.
“The United States is a nation of immigrants,” expressed Dante. “Without immigration this country wouldn’t have ever come to be, and in order for it to continue to be a country of its caliber, immigration must continue.” Originally from Mexico, Dante visited Colorado in the 1990s and loved the area so much that he decided to relocate to Golden in 2001 to study at CSM.
“At that time (2001), I thought I would return to Mexico upon completion of my graduate studies, so I never felt I was leaving Mexico permanently,” he explained. However, Dante found work as a consultant and soon made a home in the US. He officially decided to become a citizen when his daughter decided to pursue a long-term career in medicine.
“I considered that becoming a U.S. citizen would bring my family the opportunity to not only be more stable from a migration standpoint, but to also be more actively part of U.S. society.” However, deciding to become a citizen marked only the beginning of a nine-year journey. Dante first became a permanent resident in 2010 after receiving a work visa. He then completed the necessary paperwork to become a US citizen.
“Don’t be discouraged by the time and monetary cost of the process of to become a citizen, as well as discrimination that is surrounding immigrants,” he urged immigrants. Dante has also discovered that the diverse values of the United States can help immigrants feel included and at home.
“The values of Latino culture and the values of the United States are very similar, so I haven’t encountered any significant cultural clash,” he discussed. “The society of the United States is so diverse that almost everyone migrating here will find many similarities rather than differences.”
The community surrounding CSM also played a key part in Dante’s journey, as it was the promise of a prestigious Mines education that brought him to Golden.
“All of those who now have the opportunity to study at CSM know the privilege of being part of this community, not only in the classroom but also outside the classroom,” he explained. “Being a CSM graduate is a high honor, but also a great responsibility.”
For more information about becoming a US Citizen, visit the US Citizenship and Immigration Services website, uscis.gov/citizenship.