82 people become naturalized U.S. citizens Wednesday in Springfield
Springfield's population just got bigger. Nearly 100 people met all the requirements to become naturalized U.S. citizens on Wednesday.
Missouri State University's Plaster Student Union became a federal courtroom essentially as 82 people made an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution.
It's a day many have dreamed of for a long time.
"It is with great excitement because we feel that-- we believe in the core values of the country," said Susi Combs. She says it was a journey worth taking. She moved here from Malaysia. Combs has been a permanent resident for more than a decade and decided the American way is one she longed to stand with forever.
"From the time of my application to the time today, it is about a nine month process. It's very simple and the people at Immigration and Customs are very nice, so it was very smooth for us to get that, yeah," Combs said.
She says her total cost was about 900 dollars. The same goes for her son, David Chan, who is a senior at Missouri State.
"It seems daunting, but just take it one step at a time," said Chan. "It's just like everything else in life, you got to put effort into it, but eventually get back what you put in."
With a raising of the hand... and these words, fellow Americans-- they are.
"I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God."
The federal judge who presided over Wednesday's ceremony is the Honorable Douglas Harpool. He told the crowd he likes presiding over Naturalization ceremonies because it is a good reminder for everyone born in the U.S. not to take for granted what we have in America.