Somalilandsun: “God bless the United States,” he said. “America is freedom.”
The praises were uttered by Sidow Rashid Mohamed after becoming a US citizen at the Civic Center Mall in Ohio.
Sidow Rashid Mohamed emigrated seven years ago from Somalia, fleeing violence and a lack of economic opportunity. He said he was thankful for the chance to be here and the people who guided him through the process.
The Toledo man joined 18 other people from countries far and wide — including Canada, Greece, Somalia, and Trinidad — who took their citizenship oaths during a ceremony at the Civic Center Mall conducted by U.S. District Court Judge Jack Zouhary.
A few others as detailed by Toledo Blade include
Hector Graterol Linck, a Venezuelan native, spent 11 years in the country and a year studying for his exam before becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen on Thursday.
His family helped him prepare for the big test, which includes questions about U.S. history and government.
“When he went in to do his interview he was so nervous,” his wife, Stephanie Graterol Linck, said
“My parents were naturalized citizens like you, making me a first‑generation American,” said Mr. Zouhary, whose parents emigrated from Lebanon. “They came to America at different times, one by water, the other by air. But both have the same first site of America — the New York City Harbor and Lady Liberty.”
Immigrants typically obtain a green card, or lawful permanent residency, before applying for citizenship. Applicants have to spend three to five years in the country before seeking to become citizens, and the process from that point can take up to a year.
Junette Pough said she spent 28 years in the United States before becoming a naturalized citizen. She emigrated from Trinidad and lived in New York and South Carolina before coming to Ohio.
“I had it on my mind to do for so long and the opportunity came for me to do it this time, so I said let me go ahead. I’ve been here however many years. It’s my country. My kids are all American. It’s awesome,” the Lima, Ohio, woman said.
New citizens are now eligible to vote in future elections. The League of Women Voters immediately signed up six of the 19 on Thursday, and others pledged to do it later online.
First Published May 21, 2021, 1:27am