TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Becoming a United States citizen is something many people dream of and it came true for 42 people during the first of two naturalization ceremonies at the Tyler Federal Courthouse. But, some dreams take longer than others to be realized.
Faroukq Bahadory is from Afghanistan. His citizenship has been a long time coming, but he was determined to make America his home.
"You can't compare the United States with Afghanistan," he said. "My brother sponsored me."
"After we started his paperwork it took about 15 years to get his visa…but once he got here five years ago…since it was after 9-11…he had checked out already," explained his brother, Jerry Bahadory.
Faroukq lives in Longview with his family and works in a greenhouse.
"I am proud to be in the United States…to be here…my mom and brother and sister live in Afghanistan," Faroukq stated.
"These are his kids, by the way, his son and daughter," Jerry said, pointing them out.
The kids were seated just behind him during the Oath of Allegiance.
"My brother just became a citizen of the United States today…I am very proud of him," Jerry said.
"I am very happy today," Faroukq added. "Today is my special day…I became a United States citizen."
"And, they became citizens automatically today, too," said Jerry, pointing at Faroukq's kids again.
Faroukq had waited 19 long years to all America his home so he did not really mind being the last name called to receive his Citizenship Certificate. You could see it all over his face.
After the ceremony, all the new United States Citizens were encouraged to register to vote.