ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - It was a big day for seven Louisiana citizenship candidates at a naturalization ceremony held at the U.S. District Courthouse in downtown Alexandria on Wednesday morning.
Image Source: KALB
The ceremony became emotional after Louisiana candidates from all over the world took the Oath of Allegiance and were officially declared U.S. citizens by Magistrate Judge Perez-Montez. He then gave them each an opportunity to tell their stories of their journey to becoming naturalized. Members of the Youth Challenge Program and Daughters of the American Revolution were there as well as many more prominent members of the community.
Dr. Joshua Joy Dara and Judge Dee Drell addressed the now-citizens with inspiring and encouraging messages about their futures as U.S. citizens.
Citizens and their families, as well as the judges, were all smiles at the end of the ceremony.
"These people are inspiring. They show us, who are a part of the court system, the reason that we do the work that we do and how important it is,” said Judge Perez-Montez. “They show us, as citizens, how important it is to appreciate some of the things that we can so easily take for granted. That's what their stories are important for. So, once we finish these proceedings, I think we're all uplifted."
We will be producing a more in-depth look into this story very soon. We'll hear from one of the citizens sworn in and a local immigration lawyer who will break down the process of coming to America.