Thirteen took their oaths as U.S. citizens during a naturalization ceremony held yesterday at the Horiguchi Building in Garapan.
People of different origins—the Philippines, Dominican Republic, and South Korea—were presented their certifications under the supervision of Magistrate Judge Heather L. Kennedy.
Ten from the Philippines and one from South Korea attended the ceremony. An attendee from the Dominican Republic was absent. Naturalized were Bernard Abendan, Sharon Abragan, Jenifer Dela Cruz, Francisco Mateo, Estenza Mojica, Julio Mojica, Jaycie Ordonez, Rosemarie Penaroyo, Remedios Reyes, Delia Sablan, Dhalian Sablan, Evelyn Techur, and Yong Nan Tydingco.
William Bezzant, chief deputy clerk of the U.S. District Court for the NMI and guest speaker, spoke about the concept of immigrants who leave their homeland to search for opportunities, and the countries that grow and develop because of their arrival.
“There have followed a continuous stream of immigrants to the United States of America, including my own ancestors from various countries in Europe and Scandanavia in the 1800’s, until this day, today, where you now become the newest American citizens, here, where America’s day begins,” Bezzant said.
Evelyn Arriola Techur said she arrived on Saipan in 1978. “I was adopted at first. That’s how I got here when I was a kid.”
When asked about how she obtained her citizenship, Techur replied, “I got it from my husband since I wasn’t able to fix my papers before my stepfather passed away.”
Currently 51 years old, her first job was at the Hyatt Regency Saipan as an operator. She now works in the Department of Public Lands as their executive secretary.
“I guess I am now able to receive a lot of opportunities. It’s amazing to be living in America considering all the freedom we are blessed with. I feel really excited. A little emotional, but definitely excited.” Techur added.
Another naturalized U.S. citizen is Dhalian Alvarez Salas. Salas used to be a house worker but is now currently a helper at San Vicente Church. She is a widow of a U.S. citizen and has a 16-year-old child. Being 53 years old, she came on island on April 8, 1995. Having her green card for 10 years, Salas is overjoyed about finally being naturalized.
“I feel very happy about it because it’s been something I’ve wanted for such a long time. It’s not only for myself but for my child as well since I can get more opportunities. I am sincerely grateful, especially to God. Without him, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”