By Shelby Stewart
When Karen Wiederhold was 12, her family applied for migration into the United States, a dream of her mother’s.
It wasn’t until 1989, when she was 19, that she moved here with her parents and brother from Glenrothes, Scotland.
“My dad had a sister who lived here,” said Wiederhold. “She worked here as a nanny.”
On Feb. 25, she took her oath of citizenship, after living in the US for 30 years.
“I came here on a green card,” she said. “The only two differences are I couldn’t vote or work for the federal government.”
Wiederhold and her husband, Keith, moved to Ortonville in 1999, and still live here with their three daughters. She explains that since she was here legally without her husband already, she didn’t gain citizenship through marriage.
“Now that my kids are grown, I don’t want anything to happen,” she said. “I want to make sure I can stay here for the rest of my life no problem.”
Wiederhold was told in November when she applied for citizenship that the process would take about a year, starting with going to get her finger prints and photos taken.
“They gave me a booklet about civics, America, American history, government,” she said.
“They only ask you ten questions, but the book is 100 questions. My husband said only one in four Americans can answer them correctly.”
During her interview, she had to be able to write a sentence in English, read a sentence in English and get six out of 10 of the questions correct.
“That day I was done,” she said. “I’m glad I did it, it was very educational.”