Enterprise hosts Naturalization Ceremony

Published 05/09 2014 07:00PM

Updated 05/09 2014 08:31PM

It was a long time coming for Rajni Carney.  She came from the Philippines, moving to America when she was eight years ago.

"There's a difference between having a green card and being a citizen.  I don’t know if Americans can understand what kind of doors can open up to you once you have that nationality, because, literally, the world is at your disposal now." said Rajni Carney.

She was one of five people sworn in as U.S. citizens today at Enterprise High School, a day they, and the City of Enterprise, won't soon forget.

They took the oath of allegiance, becoming permanent American residents.

Jon Jin Park also knows all too well about citizenship application process.  He's been here since 1998, coming from South Korea, and looks forward to the freedoms his new status will bring.

"I can go any places without any restrictions and travel any places," Park said.

"It's one of the most joyous occasions that any federal judge has, because nobody leaves here unhappy,” said U.S. District Court Judge Mark E. Fuller.  “When we're in court, at least half of the people leave unhappy.  But this is an occasion that's a celebration, and it makes you reflect back on the values that you kind of take for granted as U.S. citizens."

Enterprise, like other cities in Alabama, is welcoming the new citizens with open arms.

"We've got families that are moving into the area, we’ve got military that’s retiring here, and we’ve got American citizens that now know that Enterprise, Alabama is on the map," said Enterprise Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Lisa Fenner.

It’s a new journey for these citizens, as they pledge their loyalty and patriotism to their new country.

Naturalization ceremonies in Alabama are usually held in Montgomery.  One was held in a Dothan courtroom back in 2011.

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