90 New U.S. citizens get sworn in

New citizens share their story and hopes for their new journey
Published: Oct. 20, 2023 at 7:05 PM CDT
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PEORIA (25News Now) - Ninety people from 24 different countries were sworn in Friday morning at the Central Illinois Naturalization Ceremony.

The room was filled with friends and family eagerly watching their loved ones take the oath of citizenship.

For Meriam Reynolds, this was an emotional and exciting morning as she starts her new life as a U.S. citizen.

“I’m emotional because I’m letting go of the Philippines and now America is my new home. I’m so happy I’m here,” said Reynolds.

These new citizens came from all corners of the world and many of them shared the same intention for greater opportunity upon immigrating to United States.

“My family came for more opportunity. My parents wanted to give us every opportunity we could get, and I’m very appreciative all that my family sacrificed to come here,” said Amreen Chatha.

Chatha and her family immigrated in 2012 and explained the process to receive citizenship took six years. Friday, the Chatha family all got sworn in together as a family

“I am so grateful. I know many people don’t get to experience this.” Chatha expressed in gratitude, “my dad worked so hard to come here and build a life for us. Now, I get to go to school everyday and excel in their name, which means so much to me and I’m grateful for that opportunity”.

James Shadid, Judge for the Central District of Illinois, swore in the 90 new citizens at the Peoria Ceremony and shared why Naturalization Days are so important.

“We all have a story to tell, and we need to tell our stories. These stories strengthen the fabric of America, they have for more than two centuries,” said Shadid. “This is a powerful moment in this country and these people’s lives. By taking the oath of citizenship with all of the privileges, rights, and responsibilities that come with it, we should honor these people.”