Inspired to citizenship: Department of Ecology engineer becomes an American

May 25, 2018

Story 

The Chinese philosopher Laozi said: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

Farida Farajullayeva Leek’s journey has taken her tens of thousands of miles. And in April, the Washington State Department of Ecology engineer took the step to become an American citizen. Now a whole new journey begins.

Though she’s been in the United States for nearly 18 years, it was Gov. Jay Inslee’s message to employees on Feb. 6, 2017, that moved her toward citizenship. Inslee’s email to all state employees provided information and resources for immigrants in the wake of the Trump administration’s travel ban.

She came home from work that day and told her husband, Randal Leek, that she was going to prepare her documents for citizenship. He later joked about it, saying he couldn’t get her to do it for 20 years, and the governor did it in two minutes.

“I cannot express enough how the governor’s deep, touching, caring email was important to me,” said Farida, who at the time was a documented immigrant. “Even now when I read it, I get emotional.”

Read the rest of the story on the governor's Medium page.

Media Contact 

Tara Lee
Governor Inslee’s Communications Office
360.902.4136