New citizens sworn in during Independence Week ceremonies - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

New citizens sworn in during Independence Week ceremonies

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This Independence Day will have a special meaning for 55 newly-naturalized American citizens.

They took their oath of allegiance to the United States during the week we celebrate our country's founding.

Immigrants from 33 different nations swore their allegiance to America on Tuesday.

For many, it's the beginning of a new life filled with unlimited possibilities.

Liz Rodrigues is from Brazil.

"I don't even know, like, what I want to do," said Rodrigues. "I just want to continue to grow as a citizen. Hopefully, finish my education."

The naturalization ceremony at the Carter Center is one of more than a hundred taking place during the week of America's 237th birthday.

Mohammad Jonaidi accepted his naturalization certificate with a smile on his face. He now enjoys freedoms he didn't have in his native Iran.

"We have experienced some, you know, undemocratic systems. So, this system has a lot of meaning," said Jonaidi.

Sonna Bah completes the circle of U.S. citizenship in her family from Mauritania.

"This is a very, very important thing to be U.S. citizen. Now all my family becomes a U.S. citizen -- me, my husband, all my family," said Bah.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services field office director Paul Onyango recalled his own citizenship ceremony as he called out each person's name.

"You feel, you know, the sense of freedom, the sense of belonging, the sense of knowing that you are a part of this great nation," said Onyango.
This naturalization ceremony is part of Immigration Services' annual Independence Day ceremony. More than 7,800 people will take the oath of allegiance to the United States.

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