Over 100 applicants became naturalized citizens earlier this morning. The ceremony was held at the Beale Memorial Library. America received 107 new citizens of all ages from 9 different countries.
The applicants came from places like Mexico, Yemen and Egypt. On average it can take up to a year to become a citizen after you have lived in the U.S. for five years.
Ingy brought her daughter to the U.S. from Egypt when she was three years old. “It’s a big day I guess for us, ya know I’ve been working here for a long time so I think it’s a huge day for us,” said Ingy Ayad, her daughter became a naturalized citizen today. Ingy came here in 2005 as a medical student on a work visa and said that coming to America has been a dream for her since she was young. “You see the movies and the dream and everything so I think it is a land of dreams, whatever you want to do you can do with hard work,” said Ayad.
While families like Ingy’s came to America for opportunity, others came for safety. “We love Yemen but right now it’s a bad situation there so I left with my family to come to America,” said Fahed Alfakih, whose sons became naturalized today. Fahed’s two sons became naturalized citizens today. So he can now have a little more peace of mind. “I want them to grow up in America to be safe and in peace,” said Alfakih.
No matter the reason for being a citizen…today makes all the hard work worth it. “It can be a lengthy process but it’s worth it at the end, and if you do it the right way it’s worth it at the end,” said Ayad. “I was excited and feel happy for them to become a citizen,” said Alfakih.
If you would like to become an American citizen the first step is to submit an application for naturalization. Then there is an interview with immigration services. After it is granted you take the Oath of Allegiance.