Naturalization Ceremony For East Texas Residents - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

3/1/06-Tyler

Naturalization Ceremony For East Texas Residents

Cheers and singing could be heard at a downtown Tyler courthouse. Wednesday, dozens of people who live in East Texas finally realized their dream of becoming American citizens.

We spoke with some of them who are excited about their new opportunities as Americans.

In all, 84 people walked into the courtroom knowing that they would soon be United States citizens. "Looking out at those people and knowing that they have given up a homeland and traditions from their country and they have come here," says Judge Judith Guthrie.

"It means stable, anchor and done. I don't have to keep wondering will I go back or will I stay here, now it's done, I'm staying here," says Sunghee Lee, Emigrated from South Korea. She has been waiting a long time. "I have two boys, we came America when they were two and one. They grew up here. This is like their country, it's the first reason for our children," says Sunghee.

Everyone's reason is different but the dream is the same.

"It's exciting, it's exciting because it's helping me on my career path. I have been waiting for it for a while. I'm getting ready to do what I want to do. I'm going to be a law enforcement office, this is my last step before I can," says Juan Silos Emigrated from Mexico.

"It's been a long journey, but I'm thrilled to be a citizen," says Grant MacLean, Emigrated from New Zealand.

The journey has been different for all of them, but they say the opportunities are endless.

Judge Guthrie says the naturalization ceremony takes place about 4 times a year.

Karolyn Davis, reporting. kdavis@kltv.com

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