published Friday, October 14th, 2011

New citizens sworn in at National Guard Armory ceremony in Chattanooga


by Naomi Jagoda
Linda Roberson, originally from England, receives her certificate of citizenship from U.S. Judge Harry S. Mattice after Thursday's ceremony. The Oath of Allegiance was administered to 105 applicants from 45 countries on Thursday during a ceremony held in the General Carl E. Levi Drill Hall at the National Guard Armory.
Linda Roberson, originally from England, receives her certificate of citizenship from U.S. Judge Harry S. Mattice after Thursday's ceremony. The Oath of Allegiance was administered to 105 applicants from 45 countries on Thursday during a ceremony held in the General Carl E. Levi Drill Hall at the National Guard Armory.
Photo by Jake Daniels.
  • photo
    Truong Nguyen, originally from Vietnam, raises his hand with others while swearing the Oath of Allegiance on Thursday. The oath was administered to 105 applicants from 45 countries on Thursday during a ceremony held in the General Carl E. Levi Drill Hall at the National Guard Armory.
    Photo by Jake Daniels /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

  • photo
    Angela Miller, center, smiles after taking the Oath of Allegiance on Thursday afternoon. The oath was administered to 105 applicants from 45 countries on Thursday during a ceremony held in the General Carl E. Levi Drill Hall at the National Guard Armory.
    Photo by Jake Daniels /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

  • photo
    Hooraeem Ameen holds her son Muhamad, 9-months-old, while her husband Nizar is naturalized as a citizen Thursday afternoon. The Ameens are from Jordan. The Oath of Allegiance was administered to 105 applicants from 45 countries on Thursday during a ceremony held in the General Carl E. Levi Drill Hall at the National Guard Armory.
    Photo by Jake Daniels /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

  • photo
    Shaun Mursell, originally from England, poses for a portrait after receiving his certificate of citizenship Thursday afternoon. The Oath of Allegiance was administered to 105 applicants from 45 countries on Thursday during a ceremony held in the General Carl E. Levi Drill Hall at the National Guard Armory.
    Photo by Jake Daniels /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

  • photo
    Lt. Col. Robert Ward leads cadets Tyler Thompson, Chris Robinson, Hannah Sapp, and Krista Burnette, left to right, of the Soddy-Daisy High School JROTC to their positions Thursday afternoon. The Oath of Allegiance was administered to 105 applicants from 45 countries on Thursday during a ceremony held in the General Carl E. Levi Drill Hall at the National Guard Armory.
    Photo by Jake Daniels /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Shaun Mursell came to the United States from the United Kingdom about six years ago to attend Dalton State College. Once here, the 24-year-old developed an interest in American law.

“I fell in love with the legal system here,” he said.

Mursell is applying to law school, and he hopes one day to become a federal judge. To achieve his long-term goal, he decided to become a U.S. citizen.

More than 100 candidates from more than 40 countries became U.S. citizens Thursday afternoon at a ceremony at the National Guard Armory. Chattanooga typically holds two naturalization ceremonies a year.

In the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, more than 619,000 people were naturalized in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. More than 4,200 people in Tennessee and 213 people in the Chattanooga area became citizens during that time.

On Thursday, after placing their hands on their chests during the Pledge of Allegiance, the candidates for naturalization each stood and said the name of his home country. Mursell particularly liked this aspect of the event because it gave the ceremony “a special edge.”

The candidates were administered the Oath of Allegiance, in which they renounced fidelity to their previous country of citizenship and officially became Americans.

U.S. District Judge Harry S. “Sandy” Mattice, who presided over the ceremony, said these events are one of the few times where he presides over “absolutely joyous occasions.”

“This country will be whatever you and your loved ones want it to be,” Mattice told Thursday’s group.

Phyllis Carter of the Daughters of the American Revolution’s local chapter also addressed the newly minted citizens, telling them they have a responsibility to protect the freedoms that come with citizenship.

Truong Nguyen, 36, who came to the United States from Vietnam in 1990, said before the ceremony that becoming a citizen is important to him because it gives him a place to belong.

“I feel like just now I’m being accepted in America,” the Sevierville, Tenn., resident said.

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WingerTN said...

Where's the motivation? We're killing ourselves to cater to the illegals. Why in the world would they become a citizen and have to pay for things?

October 14, 2011 at 7:36 a.m.
headcoconut said...

tnvolssuckbad said... Why is it so hard for all the illegal Mexicans to do this?

Because it's not as easy as this story makes it out to look. For those 100+ sworn in, they don't tell you the perhaps hundreds of others denied. Then look at the skin tone of most. With the exception of only one or two most all will blend in right well over time with what's considered the acceptable American color scheme.

October 14, 2011 at 9:31 a.m.
Wilder said...

@ WingerTN

The U.S is a not a democracy(where the people have an equal say in decisions that affect their lives), but a plutocracy(a government state in which the wealthy rule).

No town in the U.S. illustrates this better than Dalton. A group of men, who could fit comfortably in a VW(CEO's of the major carpet mills), were not only able to openly violate federal immigration laws(Section 8 USC 1324(a)(1)(A)(iv)(b)(iii):Aiding, Abetting, Harboring, or Encouraging Illegal Aliens is a Felony), but were aided in their efforts by Dalton's elected officials, who invested hundreds of thousands of local taxpayers' dollars in the effort. This is all documented in numerous newspaper articles, academic papers, books, etc.

If our government were a fuctioning democracy, the group who sacrificed Dalton for profit would currently be serving time along side of Bernie Madoff, in the federal pen.

October 14, 2011 at 9:55 a.m.
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