PEMBROKE TOWNSHIP (CBS) — Lucio Delgado is blind and mastered English by listening to the radio. He was ready to become an American citizen. He studied for the test. He did everything by the book to become a U.S. citizen.
But lack of reasonable accommodations and bureaucracy have crushed that goal, at least for now
Delgado can be found most days feeding the animals at his family’s rural home in Pembroke Township.
The 23-year-old had dreams of a better life as a U.S. citizen after leaving Mexico six years ago.
“Over here I was going to get the education I couldn’t get In Mexico,” he said. “I was going to be someone. I was going to make my family here and there proud.”
However, Delgado was recently denied naturalization.
Why? He was, according to the government, “unable to read a sentence in the English language.”
You read that right. A man who has never had his sight, couldn’t demonstrate his ability to read.
So he was flunked by the federal government, which failed to provide the reading test in Braille.
Without reasonable accommodations, Delgado had no chance of passing.
In order for me to waive that part of the test I would have to prove that I was blind,” he said.
Despite his white cane and legally blind status, in order to waive the reading portion of the test Delgado needed a doctor’s note telling him what he’s known his whole life.
“They still didn’t believe I was blind.”
Without health insurance it’s piece of red tape Delgado couldn’t afford
“To receive such negative news it shattered all of my dreams in one second,” he said.
Delgado is not giving up. He is looking for an immigration attorney to help with an appeal.