NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Dozens of immigrants swore an oath to become Americans in Northampton on Thursday.
The dream of U.S. Citizenship came true for 53 individuals who worked for years to become an American citizen. In a joy-filled ceremony, naturalization candidates gathered outside the Hampshire County Courthouse to take the oath of citizenship.
After years of studying civics, learning English and reading about American History, these new Americans beamed with pride as they became citizens of the United States.
“It is a dream come true, and to make it, to become a citizen on the 4th of July makes it even more special, it would be like the cherry on top,” said Ari Dematos of Brazil. “The 53 people that were sworn in today were from 26 different countries of origin, including the Congo, China, Vietnam, and Iraq.”
Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz welcomed the country’s newest citizens to western Massachusetts and urged them to get involved in the process of democracy.
“I can vote now, I can have a voice, and people can hear my voice,” said Shala Shewala of Congo. “It’s just amazing and the opportunities in this country and everything that I’ve learned here and everything that I’m going to do now that I’m a citizen, I’m just happy about it!”
The government said it’s welcoming about 7,500 new citizens this week, reminding us that the American Dream is still attainable.
More than 150 candidates also took the oath of citizenship on Thursday at Old Sturbridge Village.