“A Dream Come True.” More Than Two Dozen People Become U.S. Citizens at Charlotte Ceremony

CHARLOTTE, NC – Dreams came true for more than two dozen people on Thursday who became U.S. citizens. The Charlotte naturalization ceremony featured 27 immigrants from 20 countries.

“Feel like part of the family,” said Avri Beeri, a new American citizen.

“It’s a dream come true to me,” said Vanessa Amabo.

She left Cameroon in 2011 to attend college in Charlotte. She’s never returned to her homeland. Amabo says safety and the ability to vote are most important to her.

“This is my voice. This is my voice. Anything I have to say, I can say through my vote,” said Amabo.

Amabo says she wanted to be part of the positive change in Charlotte. Becoming a citizen is the first step.

“I wanted to make sure my voice is heard,” said Amabo.

The journey to citizenship is a long and sometimes difficult one. Immigrants must establish a residency in the U. S. for at least 5 years. There is a 20 page application. A fee of $725. Applicants must pass an English and civics test. And complete an interview.

All these steps must be completed before they’re able to take the Oath of Allegiance.

“I’ve been waiting a long time to become a citizen,” said Beeri.