18 people become U.S. citizens in naturalization ceremony

"It's not a white America, or Black America, or another race of America, it's the United States of America."
U.S. citizenship ceremony

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT)— 18 people from 14 different countries walked into the Federal Courthouse in Macon on Wednesday, as citizens from countries like South Korea, Ukraine, Venezuela. Later in the day, they left the courthouse as U.S. citizens.

Latif Nourozi immigrated to the U.S. from Afghanistan. It wasn’t safe for him to stay there anymore, because of his work as a linguist and interpreter for the United States Army in Afghanistan. He says the process of gaining U.S. citizenship took seven months.

“To become the citizen of a free world, a free country that respects every minority rights and does not differentiate from who you are, which background you are, and which color you are, and you have the freedom of speech, freedom of religion,” he said.

Nourozi understands people might have misconceptions about immigrants. He says the backbone of the United States though, was built by immigrants.

“It’s not a white America, or Black America, or another race of America, it’s the United States of America,” he said. “This country is built by immigrants. Everybody came here and they work hard and they contribute.”

Since coming to America, Nourozi changed career paths. He’s currently working in global security, but wants to go to college and work his way up to bigger opportunities. He says America is the land of opportunity.

“Elon Musk, he’s an immigrant,” said Nourozi. “He came to America and now he’s the CEO of Tesla. Like you can be in his spot tomorrow. You never know but it’s up to you how hard you want to work.”

Wednesday’s naturalization ceremony was the first one in two years. They were halted due to the pandemic.

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