New Citizens Take Oath on Independence Day

That’s over 50 people from nearly 30 different nations taking the “Oath of Allegiance”, the final step towards United States citizenship. This is the 5th year such ceremonies have been held on the 4th of July in Northampton. U-S District Court Judge Michael Ponsor presided over the event. He says welcoming new citizens to the country on the 4th is symbolic. He says the battle for independence by the nation’s forefathers and the journey to citizenship are similar in nature. 

“The courage that they showed in creating the country, I think is parallel to the courage people show in leaving the land of their birth, coming to a new place and having faith they can build a happy, productive life here.” 

One person completing the journey is Agnieszka Carpenter, who came to the U-S from Poland four years ago. She says there are a number of reasons why she chose to become a citizen.
 
“It’s very important for me to have the right to vote and to have the power and also to be able to be on the jury. So (these) are some of the reasons why I’m doing this. I’m very, very excited and honored to do it and I had to go and get tissues because I know I’m going to cry. It means a lot, it really does.” 
 
According to federal statistics, this year 8-thousand people have or will become U-S citizens during the 4th of July week. For New England Public Radio, I’m Adam Frenier.