Dozens of immigrants become United States citizens at naturalization ceremony
Ninety-eight people from 23 countries became United States citizens Friday at the Joel W. Solomon Federal Courthouse in Chattanooga. The newest United States citizens pledged their oath of allegiance and received their certificates of citizenship.
Dreams became a reality for dozens of people who can now call themselves Americans.
“It is like when you adopt a child, but now I am home. I am American,” Aloys Nigembere said.
They came from countries like Iraq, India and Nigeria pledging their allegiance to the United States.
“To be able to vote, and I want to be able to be a part of everything that happens here,” Peter Churcher said.
A few things needed to become a US citizen include being able to read, write and speak English. They also have to pass a civics test and answer six out of the 10 questions correctly.
“After my test, I was so excited. I was still waiting for my letter and my invitation for the ceremony. I do my goal now,” Nigembere said.
Goals like being able to vote, work in the country legally and for some, it's their chance to become leaders.
“Run for office, help with campaigns and obey the laws of the USA,” Isaac Toyi said.
'America the Beautiful' holds a stronger meaning to those at Friday’s ceremony. It's a reminder that this group of people is about to call the United States soil home for the first time.
“It is a big dream to become a citizen when you are an immigrant. Now, I am an American,” Nigembere added.
Roughly, 700,000 people become U.S. citizens every year. Naturalization ceremonies are typically held twice a year.