“I’m feeling excited,” he said. “It was a long process.”
Those seeking naturalization must be permanent residents of the U.S. for at least five years, according to the USCIS website.
Wednesday’s ceremony was one of about 110 across the nation, which will swear in about 7,500 new citizens. This year, the events are being held from July 1-5 to commemorate Independence Day, the agency said in a press release.
U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath gave the keynote speech.
With their certificates in hand, the group of new citizens was ushered into another room to register to vote. Eight of them saw the familiar face of Preye Cobham.
Cobham is an attorney and board member of Women Watch Afrika, a women’s rights advocacy organization. She has many clients who are refugees and immigrants, and taught a class that familiarizes aspiring citizens with aspects of the naturalization process, such as important laws and the civics test that must be passed.
“It’s always exciting to see family and friends and see how emotional it is,” Cobham said. “They finally get to see the finish line.”