45 new citizens take oath and become Americans - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

45 new citizens take oath and become Americans

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RED BANK, TN (WRCB) -

Dozens of people are now U.S. citizens after they took the oath of citizenship Tuesday morning. From Argentina to Hungary, people from around the globe can now call themselves Americans.

The naturalization ceremony was at Red Bank High School. As part of National Constitution week, about 30,000 people are expected to become citizens over the next several days across the country, including 45 people from the Tennessee Valley.

The nerves of this day brings a lot of emotion for this audience including, Chantal Milne, she moved with her family from Canada.

"Just finally having that done and that I know that I get to fully participate in being an American,” Milne said.

For some, it's been a day 17 years in the making, Milne came to the United States just after 911. More than a decade later, she still struggled gaining citizenship in America.

"They really changed a lot of the rules making things a lot more strict for people trying to get their citizenship because they're trying to protect the citizens of the country,” Milne said.

It’s a similar story many people taking the oath of allegiance inside this high school gym share. 45 people from 24 different nations declared their promise to the United States.

Applicants have to be residents for at least five years, pass a civics test, a background check, and have a basic understanding of English.

"Every day, like one hour because I needed to learn 10 question and answer, but I did it,” Maria Klyczek from Mexico said.

Klyczek and her family came to the United States from Mexico hoping for a better future. Tuesday, that hope became a reality.

The ceremony comes, as the future of DACA, is still in question.

"Just a touchy subject, you know it's become difficult for some people, it just might take a little longer to get where we want to be and I believe it's doable and we can get there,” said Bryan Aleman, from Honduras.

U.S. District Judge Harry Mattice told the crowd that being an American is not about a place, it's about an idea.

"I believe it's a great privilege to be called a citizen of this country and that's why I decided to do it,” Aleman said.

The Eastern District of Tennessee usually holds two naturalization ceremonies each month, the next one will be in October in Knoxville. 

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