Miami Valley residents welcomed in as official U.S. citizens
DAYTON, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - A special day for dozens of immigrants here in the Miami Valley as they were officially made U.S. citizens Feb. 16.
It was an emotional ceremony, and it's a proud and exciting day for those who raised their right in the federal building courtroom.
They're from all over the world, and each has a story to tell.
"Hello your honor, my name is Perez and I'm from Mexico," said one new citizen.
"Tonya from Bermuda"
"Josh Monroe from Canada,"
Fifty immigrants from 33 countries became U.S. citizens.
"I'm very, very proud to be here and to be citizens of the United States of America,"Esma McCarthy said, who's originally from Kosovo.
"Please stand and raise your right hand," the judge said.
First, they took the Oath of Allegiance and denounced allegiance to any other country.
"That I support and defend the constitution and the laws of the United States of America," the group said as part of their oath.
"It's the American dream come true," Diana Bowling said.
Bowling came from Mexico 25 years ago
"When you come as a kid you have no idea about frontiers and legal and not legal, it's just normal," Bowling said.
She’s becoming a citizen so she can vote.
"The elections made me think like I have to have my voice heard, you know," Bowling said.
"I'm happy to be living, like being in United States ," Zeynav Ziva said.
She's came from Russia 11 years ago.
"Not just Russia, all countries, I hope will be like friendly," Ziva said.
Esma McCarthy came here this year.
"This is a nice country, good country," McCarthy said.
The new Americans had to apply for citizenship, go through interviews and a background check.
They also had to take English writing, history and government tests.