TPPF Senior Managing Editor and Policy Analyst Carine Martinez took her Oath of Allegiance on Tuesday, making her an official American (and proud Texan). The journey that led to raising her right hand in a San Antonio naturalization ceremony began in Paris.

“I fell in love with America the first time I set foot in the United States,” she says. “But it was after I started learning more about U.S. history—after reading the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and other historical American documents—that I realized this was where I wanted to live.”

She came to the United States and to Texas in 2013, and became a policy intern for TPPF in 2014. She spent a year in Washington D.C. but returned to Texas in 2016.

“The United States was founded on ideas that were revolutionary at the time: that men are created equal and have inalienable rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of their own happiness, and that government is instituted to protect these rights—not to limit them or create new ones,” she says. “But what a lot of people forget is that these ideas are not universally accepted. In some places, they are still seen as revolutionary, or even rejected outright as relics of the past.”

She works hard to ensure that Texans and all Americans fully appreciate the great blessing of citizenship in what Ronald Reagan called the “last, best hope of man on Earth.”

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“Americans will continue to build a thriving nation for themselves if they remain true to the ideas that made them successful in the first place, which requires a knowledge of history and the principles on which this great nation was founded,” Carine says.