Newest Americans welcomed on Battleship North Carolina
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Patriotic pride filled the deck of the USS North Carolina as America's newest citizens took their oath. Most of the 74 people are in the US military; the rest are relatives of service men and women. "This is exciting, there's a lot of people here and I got to invite my whole family so it's a wonderful experience," said new US citizen, Katherine Dixon. The new Americans represent every branch of the military and more than 20 countries. Eakathat Khanthasa said, "It felt pretty much like a dream come true, I've been waiting for this for a while." Some have longed to become a US citizen for as long as they can remember, and with the day finally here, they took time to reflect. "I'm just thinking about my parents, they struggled to get me here and throughout the ceremony I was just thinking about the other struggles and everything I've gone through just to become a citizen," Patricio Salgado said. "My parents were immigrants and they had to go through hard times to do what they had to do to become citizens and to look back on that to see what doors they opened for me, I wanted to give back to the country," said Khanthasa. Regardless of the new citizens' native countries, they now share a very special common bond. Thursday’s ceremony was especially significant since this is Constitution Week. The Constitution was signed on this day in 1787.

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is it so hard for all the millions of "undocumented", illegal immigrants to get the message? Want to be a citizen and enjoy all of the rights and obligations of being an American? Do what these folks did. Invest the time and energy to enter the country legally; study civics and the constitution; learn English; take an examination; and swear an oath of allegiance. Tens of millions have done it since the beginning of our country. Why does an underground element of illegal immigrants feel they should not be required to follow the same process and make the same investment in time and effort as these fine folks did? Why do they think they are special and should be treated any differently? Do it properly or go back to your Country. On the other hand, my hat is off to these fine new Americans.
It's not a requirement that one become a US citizen in order to live and work legally in the U.S. However, I do agree that there should be a better way for unskilled foreign people to enter legally in the U.S. I've been a permanent resident (i.e.: 'green card' holder) for the past 22 years and I am not interested in obtaining U.S. citizenship for a variety of reasons. I entered legally, I pay taxes, I own property, I have a few degrees and I contribute to my community. Obviously, I am fluent in English. Again, nothing in U.S. law requires me to become a citizen, as long as I maintain my permanent resident status.
After 22 years..... what constitutes "a variety of reasons" that you don't want to become a citizen? I was just wondering. Another perspective on this would be interesting.
Congratulations to all of you. Thank you for coming. Thank you for your service to our country.