Thousands become US Citizens

February 15, 2011 § Leave a comment

They waited for years and now the day has come. The US got 2700 new citizens at a ceremony on at the in Montebello, CA Quiet Cannon Country Club. New citizens who took the Oath of Allegiance hailed from about 90 countries, including Mexico, China and India. Raymundo Manzanilla, of Beaumont, has a master’s degree in marine biology from the National Autonomous University of Mexico in Mexico City, but he drives trucks here. But like hundreds of others on Friday, he came to the U.S. for better opportunities. Manzanilla grew up in Yucatan, Mexico and is of Jewish, Spanish and Maya Indian descent. “I am in the right melting pot here,” he said. It took 17 years, but Manzanilla, who describes himself as “67 years young,” can call himself an American. Jean Ewarabena, 33, of Long Beach, immigrated to the U.S. from Ghana 11 years ago and is looking forward to traveling abroad with a U.S. passport. “I can go anywhere in the world,” she said. She chose to stay in the U.S. permanently because there are better opportunities here than in Ghana, where she grew up. Immigrants have to live in the U.S as legal permanent residents for five years – three if they’re married to a citizen – before they can apply for citizenship, said Mariana Gitomer, public affairs officer for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. They have to pass a background check, demonstrate ability to speak and write English and pass a 100-question civics test to qualify, she said. (pasadena star news)

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