Citizenship ceremonies resume in New York after COVID-19 delay – CBS New York


NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – There were no crowds or songs, but Wednesday’s naturalization ceremony for dozens of American citizens was no less moving.New Americans are sworn in despite the limitations of COVID-19.

Even face masks couldn’t hide the anticipation on Amy Zhang’s face as she recited the oath to become a citizen of the United States, the last 140 words standing between her and her family’s 20-year dream. .

“There was a point where I kept helping take pictures of all of them and every time I took a picture you kind of felt it. You kind of felt their journey, you felt how much they sacrificed, ”Amy Zhang said in an interview with CBS2’s Christina Fan.

Zhang’s journey began with his father, who is still awaiting citizenship himself after arriving in the country in 1996 from China. Like so many other immigrant parents who left everything behind, Jie Zhang was motivated to give her daughter a better life.

” Today is her birthday. I think it’s the greatest gift, ”said Jie Zhang, Amy’s father.

Along with the rigorous paperwork and advances in screening, today’s naturalized citizens have faced the additional challenge of COVID-19. The pandemic delayed these ceremonies for weeks. They have since resumed with virtual judge appearances, limited seats and masks.

The oath always triggers the same emotions.

“It means I can be free and I can have the American Dream,” said Reheman Selbykhan, from Trinidad and Tobago.

In a time when the country is so divided, so polarized, these Americans show us the common ideals that unite us far outweigh our differences.

“The homeland of the free and the land of the brave, I believe it is still the same,” said Ifeoma Ezehanyika, from Nigeria.

“We are always striving to improve,” said Amy Zhang.

Striving to uphold the values ​​on which this country was founded and these new Americans are already turning to their first duty as Americans.


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