Dear Craig Ferguson,
(I know you Google yourself, so you might just read this!)
I have been watching, with great interest, your campaign to get honorary citizenship in this great nation of mine.
So many people in the world want to be US citizens and are going through many channels (legal or otherwise) to achieve this.
Interestingly enough, I have never heard you tell your viewers, seriously, why you would like to be a citizen. That might be an interesting monologue and show. With all the negative attitudes concerning America, it would be good for us to hear something positive about our country.
Normally, one does not campaign for citizenship: Either one waits after making out the requisite application, is given honorary citizenship as a result of lifelong service, marries into it, or demands it through mass protest demonstrations. Of course, I had the good fortune to be born here, which is automatic.
The history of honorary citizenship in the United States goes back to the Marquis de Lafayette when he and all his male descendants were granted honorary citizenship in several of the new states.
The notion of citizenship was much different in the early days of our country, as many who had fought in the Revolution and lived within the accepted boundaries of the new republic had not been born in America, but citizenship was extended to them. The states were also, under the Articles of Confederation, far more independent. Hence, one who was categorized as a citizen of a particular state, was ipso facto a citizen of the United States.
Lafayette, though, was never formally declared an honorary citizen of the United States until 2002! (Which was unfortunate since he was not around to enjoy the privileges extended by this.)
However, he was feted, shown around, and even given land and money during his visit in 1824. (I mentioned that in an earlier post.)
The first actual honorary citizen of the United States was Sir Winston Spencer Churchill in 1963; then followed, Raoul Wallenberg, William Penn, Hannah Callowhill Penn, Mother Teresa, Lafayette, and Kazimierz Pulaski. (A bill to honor Anne Frank in this way is currently under consideration.) All but one, Churchill, became honorary citizens posthumously. Going this route you'll probably wait much longer or be dead. Is that what you really want?
As much as I enjoy your show and feel that you have contributed greatly to late night between 12:37AM -1:37 AM, and think you would be a model citizen (!), I fear that you don't have a rodent's you-know-what of a chance to influence the almighty INS to speed up the process. It is unfortunate for you that the state citizenship no longer gives you national citizenship. If I were you, I wouldn't push the issue because some nasty INS agent, who watches Conan, might just put your application on the bottom of the pile after this.
So take a number, wait in your comfortable host's chair, go over the inane test questions, get a good lawyer, keep checking your status , and continue what you're doing to improve late night television.
It will happen.
The Tour Marm
P.S. I'll be at the Warner to see you. Do you need a tour guide in DC?
Layfayette in America Exhibit at the New York Historical Society
Washington, DC Review and Tailored itinerary.
Craig Ferguson: Role Model