ASA-National employee becomes U.S. citizen, welcomed during naturalization ceremony

Desi Mawi

NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, Texas – Desi Mawi’s trek to become a U.S. citizen started five long years ago.

It ended Monday when former President George W. Bush welcomed her and roughly 50 others as new U.S. citizens during a naturalization ceremony in Dallas.

Mawi, a part-time membership/accounting assistant in ASA’s national office, came to the United States – along with her father and two siblings – from the country of Myanmar (also known as Burma) in Southeast Asia.

“We came here definitely for a better opportunity,” the 23-year-old Mawi said.

She says she had to wait five years before she could apply for U.S. citizenship.

After applying, Mawi says she had to “memorize” answers to 100 questions, meet standards for writing and speaking, and then be scrutinized during an interview.

Her father is also working on becoming a U.S. citizen.

“The very process that Desi just went through shows her initiative and perseverance, which is has been a strong attribute for us here at ASA. Congratulations Desi!”

– ASA Executive Director Ray Fisher

Success, however, isn’t anything new for Mawi, who started working for ASA in September 2018.

During her relatively short stint in the U.S., she has graduated from Success High School in Fort Worth and community college in Tarrant County, and now is a student at the University of Texas at Arlington.

Desi Mawi

Mawi joined new U.S. citizens from 20-plus countries from around the world.

Former first lady Laura Bush joined her husband during the ceremony at his institute at the George W. Bush Presidential Center.

According to the Associated Press, Laura Bush said Texas is a state that “thrives due to the prosperity, ingenuity, transformation and generosity of immigrants.”

Immigration is a focus of the George W. Bush Institute, which says it advocates for “smart, skills-based immigration reform.”

George Bush told the group: “I’d like to point out that not only are you becoming an American, but as Laura mentioned, you’re a Texan. And if you walk out of here with a little extra attitude in your step, it shows the culture is taking hold.”

Information from the Associated Press contributed to this report.