“I Pledge Allegiance”: Area immigrants become United States citizens
Thirty countries were represented at the ceremony, including Turkey, France, Iran, and India.
Friday morning, area immigrants from countries across the world, received their full citizenship rights at the federal courthouse. Presided over by United States Magistrate Judge Christopher Steger, they were cheered by hundreds of friends and family members, waving American flags.
The 100 new United States citizens pledged their allegiance to the flag, which they are proud to now call their own.
They came from countries like Turkey, France, Iran, and India.
“Oh, it was an exciting moment! So happy to be called an American citizen,” said Samuel Rembujel.
In 2017, more than 750,000 people were naturalized nationwide. Liviya Peters is one of the thousands who took the oath in Tennessee this year.
“It is just wonderful. We have four children, we are all citizens now. It is just great,” Peters said.
Years of hard work led to this moment. The process to become a citizen includes filing applications, taking tests, and going through an interview process.
“America is truly a place where the biggest dreams can become reality. If you can dream it you can do it,” said Judge Steger.
The new citizens said the ceremony opens a new world of opportunity.
“It's good, you get different things. It is different when you become an American citizen,” said Violeta Burton.
Now officially United States citizens, the next stop for many, is to register to vote, making their dreams finally come true.
The citizenship ceremony used to be held only twice a year, but due to high demand, they are are now held every 2-3 months.