PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Nineteen people from thirteen countries gather at the Allegheny Department of Human Services Wednesday morning, to officially become Americans. County Executive Rich Fitzgerald says 38,000 new citizens are being sworn this day, across the country.
“We want to build bridges and we want to welcome people,” he says, to applauseREAD MORE: SWAT Situation In Washington County Ends In Arrest Of Man Wanted For Attempted Homicide
The Pledge of Allegiance is led by Pakistani immigrant Saima Sitwat, leader of the Muslim Association of Greater Pittsburgh. She hopes her ten-year-old daughter can achieve the American dream, despite growing anti-Muslim sentiment.
“It hurts me in some ways to see her, at this young age, absorb this, and go through all this.”Clairton City School District Not Allowing Fans At Friday's Football Game Against Leechburg
The road to citizenship is oftentimes a long one.
“Thanks to this wonderful country,” Mexican native Juan Urtiz announces at the podium “I’ve waited forty years. It’s a long time.”
He says it’s been worth every minute.
“I’m so proud of myself. I will be able to work for the federal government. I was not allowed before.”MORE NEWS: Mustafa Alowemer Expected To Plead Guilty To Planning To Bomb Legacy International Worship Center
Voter registration tables are set up in the lobby. The new Americans have taken the oath of allegiance just in time to exercise the duty and privilege of citizenship. They will be able to vote in the upcoming election.