Roger Moran was one of 48 new Americans to take the oath of allegiance Dec. 10.
Surrounded by friends and family, flags and cameras, 48 immigrants from 24 countries became United States citizens Dec. 10 at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office in Boise.
To much applause, immigrants were first recognized for their home countries, including Afghanistan, Belarus and Kenya. Finally, the group stood in unison and swore the oath of allegiance, making them U.S. citizens.
“This kind of thing happens once in lifetime, so enjoy it,” said Steve Gossett of the Boise field office, who directed the event.
For Roger Moran, of Twin Falls, the ceremony was an achievement that had been years in the making. When he was 7 years old, Moran illegally immigrated to Idaho from Mexico with his mother and two brothers.
“I am less worried now that I am a citizen,” Moran said. “I’ve waited a long time to be able to do things like take out a loan to pay for college tuition.”
Sefanaia Tongamon, from the South Pacific island of Tonga, also became an American on Dec. 10. He moved to the U.S. eight years ago, when his mother fell ill. After about a year, he realized he’d like to stay for good. Now he lives with the rest of his family in Nampa.
“I feel really happy,” Tongamon said. “It feels great to become a citizen, especially in front of my daughter.”
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New Americans participating at the naturalization ceremony Dec. 10.