IRVING — Make way for America’s newest citizens!
120-people from more than 30-different countries earned citizens’ rights in Irving Thursday, just in time for Independence Day.
“Very emotional,” new citizen Trudie Mare from South Africa said. “It’s been such a long journey. To eventually get here on this special day, the day before America’s birthday, it just makes it so much more to celebrate.”
The festivities might look like fun, but rigorous tests and requirements take time—lots of it.
“Oh, I’m so excited because I’ve been waiting for five years,” U.S. Citizen Gisele Kaniki from the Democratic Republic of the Congo said.
“Finally, today is the day.”
“I’ve been here for the past 12-years, but this is the day I’ve been looking for,” new citizen Jasmine Jacob said. She is from India.
These folks aren’t alone. Recent surveys show that 13-percent of the U.S. population is foreign born. Here, in Dallas county, statistics show 23% of the population is foreign-born.
“We need a true immigration reform system that will allow more opportunities like what we saw today to happen,” Congressman Marc Veasey of District 33 said. “There’s a lot of work we have to do in Washington D.C.”
Especially considering the number of children crossing the U.S. Border. But, for these new Americans, they’ll be waking up to the American Dream on the 4th of July.
“I want to be a nurse practitioner. I look forward to helping in my community,” Jacob said.
“I definitely want my vote to count; just to be free and live free, that’s what brought me here. Tomorrow [July 4th], I think it’s going to be very emotional. But, we’re definitely going to party.”
Break out the boots and cowboy hats y’all. We’ve got a brand new batch of Texans!