Twenty-five immigrants took an oath and became new American citizens Tuesday morning in a Naturalization Ceremony at the Orange County Library’s Main Branch.

According to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Regional Director Kathy Redmond, the process before they could become new citizens involved making sure they could read, write, speak English and know basic facts about U.S. history and government.

She said she was glad they could hold the ceremony at the library, rather than at a courthouse or one of the USCIS offices like sometimes happens, because it makes the ceremony more visible to the public.

“We love having them at libraries,” she said. “People get to see it, and recognize that we are a country of immigrants. These are the best and the brightest.”

The ceremony involved speeches by fellow USCIS Immigration Officer Antonio Burgos and library director Mary Anne Hodel. Burgos, as well as a video clip in which President Barack Obama welcomed them into citizenship.

Among the new citizens was Emilio Sanchez Medina, of Cuba. He was a physician there, but came to the U.S. six years ago due to a dissatisfaction with the “economic, political situation” there, he said.

He called the citizenship process “very organized.”

“I’m ready to continue my life here,” he said. “I want to follow my dream and get my family a better life. The next step for me is to become a nurse here.”

Tu Tran of Vietnam came to the U.S. after being sponsored by his grandfather who already lived here. When asked what he was most looking forward to about being a citizen, he answered “voting.”

But he won’t just vote with haste, he added.

“I’ll need to study the ballot,” he said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.