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Torvalds Becomes an American Citizen 654

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the i-did-that-34-years-ago dept.
netbuzz writes "Having brought his open-source work and family to the United States from Finland some time ago, Linus Torvalds has marked an important personal milestone by attaining US citizenship. A casual remark on the Linux kernel mailing list about registering to vote led to the community being in on the news. Torvalds has acknowledged being a bit of a procrastinator on this move, writing in a 2008 blog post: 'Yeah, yeah, we should probably have done the citizenship thing a long time ago, since we've been here long enough (and two of the kids are US citizens by virtue of being born here), but anybody who has had dealings with the INS will likely want to avoid any more of them, and maybe things have gotten better with a new name and changes, but nothing has really made me feel like I really need that paperwork headache again.' In that post he also expresses dislike for the American style of politics in which he will now be able to participate directly."
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Torvalds Becomes an American Citizen

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  • by TrisexualPuppy (976893) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @12:30PM (#33575730)
    ...but does he run Linux?
    • by MillionthMonkey (240664) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @12:34PM (#33575792)
      Is Linus secretly from Kenya? I find his source code to be socialist and anti-colonialist.
      • by wsanders (114993) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @12:42PM (#33575980) Homepage

        Linus can get rid of the "Calvin Pissing on La Migra" sticker on his rear window. Or cover up "la Migra" with a BSD Devil.

        http://vehiclevinyls.com/estore/html/page-view.asp?menuid=4106&gotorec=40 [vehiclevinyls.com]

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        If you use the Glenn Beck meme here, you can avoid being tagged flamebait.

        I just heard on the internet that {Person's name} {did something horrible}. Now, I'm not saying that {Person's name} {did something horrible}. But it does strike me as a little suspicious that {Person's name} has never denied {doing something horrible}. Really, I'm not accusing {Person's Name} of {doing something horrible}. But if {Person's name} didn't {do something horrible}, why hasn't he denied {doing something horrible}?

        For some reason, It's ok as long as you are making fun of the right here.

        • Re:More importantly (Score:4, Interesting)

          by ultranova (717540) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @03:22PM (#33578920)

          For some reason, It's ok as long as you are making fun of the right here.

          It's because most of Slashdot works for a living. Right is for the owning class, left is for the working class. Unfortunately the left in most countries seems to be willing to work with the right for the latter's benefit, so I think I'll have to vote for Communists in the next election to retain at least a bit of my rights and freedoms.

          And no, the irony doesn't escape me.

      • by Arancaytar (966377) <arancaytar.ilyaran@gmail.com> on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @01:03PM (#33576352) Homepage

        I have heard rumors that not only is Linus secretly Muslim, he is also secretly black.

    • by vlueboy (1799360)

      ...but does he run Linux?

      Seeing how he stated "and maybe things have gotten better with a new name and changes"
      the question should be:

      Did he legally change his name to "Linux" ?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by bsDaemon (87307)

        I think he's referring to the practice at mass-immigration checkpoints like Ellis Island, where, when the processor couldn't spell particularly complicated names (for instance, those of Polish or Eastern European origin), that they'd just write down something Anglo-sounding and tell them to get used to it. He may have been afraid that he'd end up Linus Van Pelt rather than Linus Torvalds.

  • Derp (Score:5, Funny)

    by Skyshadow (508) * on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @12:32PM (#33575758) Homepage

    He took our jerbs!

  • So what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fiannaFailMan (702447) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @12:32PM (#33575764) Journal

    It's his own business.

    • Re:So what? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @12:45PM (#33576044)

      It's his own business.

      Don't you know anything? His name is known among some people so they have to pretend to understand him on a personal level and act like they personally know him and are very concerned about the most trivial and personal details of his life. That's what we do with celebrities.

      Hey, did you know that some woman you've never met is having relationship problems with some man you've never met? Who gives a fuck? Oh yeah, one of them can act/sing/dance so that makes it really really important! Let's not do this with programmers. Please.

      Epictetus said something about how talking about the affairs of others leads to small-mindedness. He couldn't have been more on the money.

      • Re:So what? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by fiannaFailMan (702447) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @01:35PM (#33577006) Journal

        Yup. Although on the plus side it is probably a good thing that people who actually contribute to society and progress are being talked about with such interest. Pity such attention is usually focused on people who sing songs and abuse substances but still manage to get paid huge sums for their dubious efforts.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        Epictetus said something about how talking about the affairs of others leads to small-mindedness. He couldn't have been more on the money.

        Maybe so but did you know that Epictetus was having an affair with one of his slavegirls?

  • immigration category (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Rene S. Hollan (1943) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @12:33PM (#33575770)

    I'm more interested what his immigration category was? Mine was EB-2 (Person with advanced degree: Master or Ph.D). I suspect his was EB-1 (Person of national interest).

    • by rotide (1015173)
      Can't it be both? He holds an advanced degree (Masters) as well.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Rene S. Hollan (1943)

        Not really. One should be classified in the most preferential category to begin with. Additional work experience will not let you move up a category. So, you should "fill any gaps" (like get that graduate degree) first, or at least while on a non-immigrant visa. You can't really go from EB-2 to EB-1.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I'm more interested what his immigration category was? Mine was EB-2 (Person with advanced degree: Master or Ph.D). I suspect his was EB-1 (Person of national interest).

      Probably an "O-1", a rare beast.

    • by TheSync (5291) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @01:19PM (#33576622) Journal

      I'd like to know as well.

      According to the Immigration and Nationality Act, the annual immigrant visa quota is 140,000 for employment-based (EB-x) immigration. EB-1, EB-2 and EB-3 each receive 28.6% of the total number, while EB-4 and EB-5 each receives 7.1% separately.

      For the current 40,000 quota of EB-2 preference, each country receives 7%, with 3,000 available for China and India, 2,500 for the other countries, and 9,000 remaining for use by those countries in need, such as India and China.

      Linus could also have come in through one of the 32,000 diversity (DV) visas available to Europeans.

      Once here (legally with a green card). having American citizen children or an American citizen spouse is one of the fastest ways to be come a citizen (3 years as a spouse, 5 years for children).

      The best guide to understanding US immigration laws is this handy poster [reason.org].

  • WOAH WOAH WOAH (Score:4, Insightful)

    by moogied (1175879) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @12:34PM (#33575784)
    He has TWO kids here? And he had those while NOT being a full american citizen? He had Anchor babies? Someone call FOX news please. We cannot have this filth just coming here and knocking out brats!
    Wait what? He is a constructive member of society? Hes already contributed to the American culture before he was a citizen? The entire idea of making immigration more difficult is crazy bullshit? *mind explodes*
    • by bsDaemon (87307) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @12:35PM (#33575824)

      no, no, no... the proper term is GNU/Anchor Baby.

    • Re:WOAH WOAH WOAH (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Midnight's Shadow (1517137) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @12:39PM (#33575902)

      He has TWO kids here? And he had those while NOT being a full american citizen? He had Anchor babies? Someone call FOX news please. We cannot have this filth just coming here and knocking out brats! Wait what? He is a constructive member of society? Hes already contributed to the American culture before he was a citizen? The entire idea of making immigration more difficult is crazy bullshit? *mind explodes*

      I realize you are being sarcastic but I would like to point out that he was here legally to begin with. Weird isn't it how some people can actually navigate the Byzantine immigration process instead of just sneaking across the boarder?

      • by bsDaemon (87307)

        Linus is an educated and skilled worker who is responsible for the underpinnings of large section of the digital economy. He's not exactly the type of person who's likely to need to sneak across the boarder. Chances are high that the only lawn he's mowed since arriving is his own.

    • Oh stop (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @12:52PM (#33576144)

      You are trying to make an issue where there isn't one. Torvalds was here legally, he had his green card. You can live in the US permanently and never get citizenship, legally, if you wish to.

      Thus far I have yet to encounter someone trying to make an issue of people who are legal permanent residents. You seem to be building a straw man ot pick a fight where there is not one.

      When you start shouting and being absurd just to start a fight you are no better than those you are trying to attack.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by confused one (671304)
        You beat me to it. My mother never applied for U.S. citizenship. She lived here for 35 years before she went home to care for her elderly mother. Now, my father, a U.S. citizen, lives overseas. These things happen and it's not a big deal.
    • Re:WOAH WOAH WOAH (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @01:56PM (#33577426)
      Excuse me, I am unaware of any group that has a problem with legal immigrants. Most of the people I have seen who have a problem with illegal immigrants favor reducing the difficulty of legally immigrating into this country while increasing the enforcement against illegal immigration.
  • by Space cowboy (13680) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @12:37PM (#33575868) Journal
    I've thought of it myself (given I've had a green card here for a while), but it seems every second week someone is off for jury duty over here. Back in the UK, the only person I know who was called was my dad, once, in 45 years as an adult.

    Personally, I'm not sure the whole 'WooHoo, I can now vote in the US' is worth it - which seems to be the only other *practical* difference between a GC-holder, and a citizen.

    Plus, IIRC, the US insist that I'd have to give up my UK citizenship/passport (although, from various friends, I've heard that the UK just send your passport back to you with a "you appear to have misplaced your passport" note :)

    So, whatever floats your boat, Linus, but I don't think it's for me.

    Simon.
  • by Qubit (100461) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @12:38PM (#33575874) Homepage Journal

    In that post he also expresses dislike for the American style of politics in which he will now be able to participate directly."

    ...but just don't email the POTUS and call him a p***k!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @12:38PM (#33575890)

    to have his BMI and IQ numbers interchanged.

  • Matti (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @12:40PM (#33575928)
    "Tekemätöntä ei saa tekemättömäksi" -- Matti Nykänen
  • I can't stand American politics.

  • Oh you poor, stupid bastard Linus.
  • by HockeyPuck (141947) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @12:57PM (#33576240)

    In the last US presidential election only about 60% [gmu.edu] of the people eligible to vote, actually did. However, I bet a much greater number of people complained about the president/candidates. I remember reading somewhere that even though Hollywood (Puff Daddy etc..) started the whole "Vote of Die" campaign to get young people (age 18-24) to vote, approximately 1 in 10 actually did.

    I always tell people, if you didn't vote in in the election, don't complain.

  • by Ukab the Great (87152) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @01:09PM (#33576472)

    Quizzer: what are the three branches of government?

    Linus: Why have three branches? I'd do a git merge legislative executive judiciary into a single monolithic government over which I'm benevolent dictator. Screw those crazy microgovernment people!

  • Immigration. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MaWeiTao (908546) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @01:39PM (#33577068)

    I married my wife overseas. Barely a month later we started preparing paperwork for her green card. It was a relatively effortless process. Going from green card to citizen was just as trivial, although it wasn't cheap and got even more expensive shortly after we applied. Often times it comes down to the individual you're dealing with. We have friends who were in a similar situation, but were married longer, and they had to deal with a jerk who gave them a hard time, partly due to them having a baby. But the process was generally the same otherwise. But this is probably one of the easier ways to immigrate.

    On the other hand, an uncle of mine wanted to come to the US with his family and had to wait 7 years before he got the papers. There was a ton of paperwork, some expense and having to deal with lotteries to get a place in line. Part of the reason for this is because of people who come here illegally. Illegals aren't only coming from Mexico. It's relatively trivial to get a visitor's visa and just not go back. In certain communities it's not that difficult to get fake paperwork.

    From what I've seen it's actually a lot easier to immigrate to the US than it is to immigrate to most countries. And, the US is far, far less restrictive about what you can do when you're here. In some countries, on a work visa you can't even get a mobile phone. You have to purchase one under a citizen's name. Good luck trying to buy a car and getting it registered, or owning property.

    But too many people, Americans ironically, are intent on perpetuating this notion that America is hostile to foreigners. Foreign immigration, unlike anywhere else in the world comprises the backbone of the country. That said, I have no sympathy for illegal immigration. Countless people have made the effort to go through the process legally. And we have this huge group of people who have decided they don't want to deal with those hassles. So instead, they open themselves up to exploitation, both from those helping them across the border and those who ultimately decide to employee them in the States.

    Even more offensive is the suggestion by many that we should accept illegal immigration and that we're bigots by not doing so. We can't deport those already here. We have to give them green cards. But, it should have a few conditions. First, they have to have clean records and they have to be able to find work. Secondly, depending on age, they have to learn a reasonable level of English within a few years. I don't think that's unreasonably at all. But also important, and this should happen first, the borders have to be closed. Build a proper wall and put national guard troops along the border. And the Mexican border isn't the sole problem. Employers who hire illegals need to be dealt with harshly. Not just fined, they should be put out of business. Period. We need to deter illegal immigration as much as possible while embracing legal immigration.

    Torvalds did it the right way.

  • Dear Linus (Score:5, Funny)

    by Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @02:21PM (#33577930)
    May I please have your spot in Finland, since you're no longer using it?

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