25 new US citizens naturalized at ceremony

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A years’ long process for 25 new citizens of the United States has finally been completed.

“You file your naturalization application after you’ve been a resident for five years. It can take anywhere from five months on upwards. That would be the minimum processing. They get interviewed by an immigration services officer at the Raleigh-Durham office. If the officer says that they’re qualified, they’re eligible under the law, they get approved,” said Marcos Castells from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

The USCIS naturalized those 25 new Americans at a ceremony Monday morning at the Battleship North Carolina.

The festivities were part of Citizenship Day, where a US magistrate judge administered the Oath of Allegiance and welcomed the country’s newest citizens.

They come from 18 different countries, proof of just how diverse southeastern North Carolina is.

“Our ceremonies typically in Raleigh-Durham are about 60, and we’ll have 25 to 35 countries present. So such a small group, it really is a very good representation of how diverse this area is,” said Castells.

Now that they’ve been naturalized, they can live the rest of their lives as citizens of the greatest country on Earth.

“They’re citizens now, this is their country, they have the right to vote now so they can help shape their country in any way they see fit. A lot of sacrifices, I’m sure a part of them will always be connected to home, culturally especially. When they come over here, they’re American right down to their soul now and I’m sure they’re very proud of that as part of the sacrifices that they’ve made to be here,” said Castells.

Monday’s festivities were part of Constitution Week. The USCIS will welcome more than 30 thousand new citizens at naturalization ceremonies nationwide.

Categories: Local, New Hanover

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