Valley ceremony welcomes new US citizens

Twenty-five people from 17 different countries, including Brazil, Poland, Cuba and India, took the oath of allegiance and became American citizens.

- Twenty-five people from 17 different countries, including Brazil, Poland, Cuba and India, took the Oath of Allegiance and became American citizens.

"I came from India in 1998," Aditya Gupta said. "I came as a student. I'm a physician, I did my residency and training. I've been a permanent resident. I have kids and all three kids are American and I want to be part of the process."

For Karen Salevar and her younger sister, Vickey, it was a very emotional day and it was a long-time coming.

"It's the right time," Karen said. "We were finally able to do it. We tried to do this two years ago, but I wasn't... I had to be here five years, like a resident. I was a minor when we processed everything. We have been trying to push on this."

This is the fourth year a naturalization ceremony has taken place on the campus of All Saint's Episcopal School, a lesson District 25 director Al Gallmann says won't be forgotten by students, or those going through it.

Gallmann says becoming a lawful, permanent resident, which leads to citizenship, is a five-year process, but for some, it feels like a lifetime.

"You apply, we do background checks, administer civics tests, English tests and if everything is good you come to a ceremony like this," he said.

Many are excited to vote this year, but while the reasons are as unique as each individual, the one thing everyone has in common is that they are now United States citizens.


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