Local food truck owner becomes U.S. citizen

Published: Sep. 2, 2019 at 8:09 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Haili Li, Owner of Hi-Licious Food Truck in Lake Charles, became a U.S. citizen on August 23, 2019. For Li getting to vote in U.S. elections is a life long dream.

“I already registered,” Li said.

Li moved to the U.S. from China 13 years ago.

“You have to challenge yourself," Li said. "You know it’s not easy. Sometimes you can cry sometimes you feel upset but finally you have to stand up, wipe the tears and go. Carry on. I move to Missouri, and I move to New York, and I move to Texas, just to try and make a living and find a job.”

Li says the language barrier and missing her family was the hardest part of her journey. She also missed her mom’s home cooking, which eventually led her to create her food truck Hi-Licious.

“I need to eat. I miss my home town I miss my own kind of food," Li said. "I want to do my own food from my hometown from my mom.”

Li created her food truck in 2016, and quickly found what she was meant to do.

“Fast food is a kind of culture and is a kind of language, is a kind of communication and is a bridge between me and my customer," Li said. "From the people I can see the world.”

After 9 months, Li took tests and followed the necessary procedure to make America her home country.

“I want to belong here totally feel like I belong here,” Li said.

Li says becoming a citizen was a milestone she’ll never forget.

“I want to smile and also want to cry,” Li said. “Very proud.”

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