Tulsa's newest US citizens

Wednesday, January 14th 2004, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Students at Tulsa's Kendall Whittier Elementary School helped welcome our newest citizens at a naturalization ceremony.

News on 6 reporter Rick Wells was at the ceremony and says President Bush has created quite a stir with his proposal to give some illegal immigrants legal status. So we thought we'd see if our newest citizens had anything to say about that.

“For me I feel good, it is a very big step." Suzanne Ahmady's lived here ten years after five she was eligible to apply for citizenship and began the process. This is a very exciting day.

For everyone here there is one last bit of paperwork and a green card to turn in. Green cards by the way are not green. And mixed feelings happiness and apprehension. "Being far from your nationality changing to another nationality, it's a big step."

Elias Marco Elias came here from Egypt eight years ago for a better life. "For a good future for my kids and for my family."

All these new citizens went through the process by the numbers the old fashioned way. What about the president's new plan for illegal immigrants. "Clearly people are upset, eight of the calls to the editor in the paper are about the president's immigration plan and these people don't like it."

We thought perhaps some of our new citizens might have hard feelings about it most did not. This day is about them and their new status.

Omar Vivar is a teacher at Kendall Whittier Elementary, he became a citizen last year and he has mixed feelings about the president's plan. "I want to make sure that everyone tries to do it right like we have." He understands there are problems with the current system but also says it's difficult to accept.

No difficulties here, 24 new citizens, getting a warm welcome aboard. Naturalization ceremonies are held every month.

During the school year, the ceremonies are held at a public school to give students a first hand look at the process.