More Valley residents looking into naturalization process

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The newest US citizens stood and cheered, proudly holding their American flags. In Downtown Fresno 699 People from 51 countries took their oath. (KFSN)

The newest US citizens stood and cheered, proudly holding their American flags. In Downtown Fresno 699 People from 51 countries took their oath.

"It's really an emotional moment. I don't think people realize it's emotional because, when you've lived here a long time too, you feel like you belong here so you feel adopted," said Myriam Stemkoski, French-American.

"Very happy I am already one of the US citizens," said Lilia Yumol, US citizen.

Of the naturalized Americans 425 came from Mexico; but new citizens like Jordan native Nada Alqatamy said President Trump's tough talk on immigration makes many families nervous.

"Yes, many like we, we heard about countries banned and so we decided to be citizens."

The concerns cut across all races and religions.

"He's pretty volatile I feel. You don't know what he's going to do and make changes. I think being British you're safer than most but still it's a safeguard," said Sally Baker, English-American.

"I was waiting. I was nervous. I couldn't wait for the time because no one knows what's going to happen," said Ekelediri Chukwu, US citizen.

Chukwu of Nigeria breathed a big sigh of relief with his kids.

Many immigrants see the big picture-- the US remains the land of opportunity.

"Oh, I came as a student so I went to school then I worked on a work visa then I applied for green card. It's a slow process," said Ravinder Gil, US citizen.

And some don't seem to be in a big rush.

"Actually, my whole family's a citizen except me (sic)-- so I keep dragging my feet and now I got it done," said Koua Xiong, US citizen.

All of these new Americans began the naturalization process eight months ago.

Related Topics:
societycitizenshipfresnoimmigrationPresident Donald TrumpFresno - Downtown
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