October 26, 2013

Group Awarded U.S. Citizenship at Ceremony | WHAG

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A special ceremony was held Friday morning at the U.S. District Court in Martinsburg. Among those attending were U.S. Senator Joe Manchin D-WV, and some special guests.

It was also a very busy morning in the courtroom, as many were being sworn in as citizens of the United States.

Officials say 38 people from 21 different countries took their oath.

Sot Eva Marie Bedana Moreno is originally from the Philippines. She now lives in Martinsburg, and she became a U.S. citizen.

"I'm very excited, happy, and now I can say I'm part of America," Moreno said.

A part of America, as they received their certificates of citizenship from Senator Joe Manchin.

Manchin said it's a refreshing change from the constant complaining and dysfunction of Washington.

"…And when you see people that have worked hard, that came here for the land of promise, to basically the land of opportunity, and still believe in America. It kind of reinforces, it reinvigorates me, but it reinforces that this is the best country on earth," said Senator Manchin after the ceremony.

One new citizen said he's actually living the American Dream.

"I had about $500 in my pocket. I didn't have anything else,” said Titus Warui, who came from Kenya to Falling Waters.

“I just came here and dreamed that one day I would make things work, or things would work out. I believed that it was all going to work out," he said.

And it did work out. Titus has been here for over 11 years. He now has with a family of three kids, and they couldn’t be more excited for him.

Senator Manchin also encouraged those who are coming to the United States to obtain U.S. citizenship legally.

He says our arms, and doors are still open.

By:  Caitlin Francis