11 naturalized in time for Veterans Day


U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona Manglona administered the oath of allegiance to 11 newly naturalized U.S citizens during a special naturalization ceremony yesterday in celebration of Veterans Day.  (KIMBERLY B. ESMORES)

The U.S. District Court for the NMI swore in 11 new U.S. citizens yesterday, just in time for the national celebration of Veterans Day on Friday.

U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona administered the oath of citizenship for the 11 new Americans in a special naturalization ceremony yesterday. They are Emily Corpuz Balboa, Helene Ritos Conde, Devina Lantican Esteves, Rowena Ibarra Jocson, You Jin Jun, Wilailuk Vorapol Miller, Teresita Ureta Namauleg, Michael Marin Romero, Shirin Mustafa Shakir, Maria Caroline Cudiamat Tamparong, and Cornelio Garcia Viernes.

Manglona encouraged the new citizens to not only enjoy the many new privileges that come with their newfound citizenship, but to also perform their duties and responsibilities as citizens.

“As U.S. citizens, you can now vote. It may be too late for you, guys, to partake in this election, but in future elections. In doing so, you will also be registered with the court and we can summon you for jury duty. These are duties and responsibilities of a U.S. citizen that I strongly encourage you all to perform,” she said.

In closing the ceremony, guest speaker Joe McDoulett, judge advocate of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3457, congratulated each new citizen on completing their citizenship journey.

He stated that this naturalization ceremony is special because it is wedged between two holidays: Veterans Day, and CNMI Citizenship Day which was celebrated last Friday.

“Your naturalization is wedged in between two holidays. Yes, Veterans Day is coming on Friday, but last Friday we celebrated CNMI Citizenship Day. Similar to what you, guys, have gone through, it was a hard process for the citizens of the Northern Mariana Islands to get their citizenship too,” he said.

McDoulett noted the hardships that many islanders faced in the past in their journey to citizenship, much like the newly naturalized citizens.

“On Nov. 3, 1986, President Ronald Reagan signed a proclamation and made all of the citizens of the rural American islands citizens of the United States. They celebrate that every year. It was important for me to note that they struggled. It didn’t just happen. It was a long process. Like them, your process was awesome. I don’t think people realize how difficult it is to become a U.S. citizen,” he said.

McDoulett deems naturalization to be important because, like many veterans, the newly naturalized citizens chose the United States and swore an oath to protect it.

“This is important to me because there are many people that are born to citizenship. However, very few of those people have sworn an oath to the United States. Very few. And just like veterans have sworn their allegiance to the United States, to its Constitution to protect us, so have you all. So that’s why for a veteran coming up on Veterans Day, I salute you,” he said.

Kimberly Bautista Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Bautista Esmores has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.

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