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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Newly Naturalized US Citizens Swear Allegiance, Becoming the ‘Light’ Many Seek

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From the heart of SALT LAKE CITY —‌ A diverse group of nearly 150 individuals, originating from over 50 ‍different nations, gathered at the Salt Lake City Public Library on Wednesday.‌ They were there to ​participate in the citizenship oath ceremonies and‌ to ‍receive their certificates of naturalization, a significant milestone in their journey to becoming U.S. citizens.

As the attendees settled into the library’s auditorium, the ceremony’s organizers wasted no time ⁣in emphasizing the rights that come ‍with their new citizenship status. They particularly underscored the right to ‍vote in local and federal elections — a freedom that ‌many of the participants ‍had never experienced before.

“The United‌ States is defined by its people, and that ‍includes each ‍and every⁢ one of you,” Salt ⁢Lake County Clerk Lannie Chapman addressed the⁤ soon-to-be citizens. Chapman elaborated on the pride ​that Americans feel when they cast their votes ⁢and how our representative democracy depends on a diverse​ and engaged citizenry to elect its leaders.

“Representation, participation,⁢ and accountable ​government are not just buzz​ words​ — they are the pillars of our democracy,” Chapman emphasized.

At the ceremony, the new citizens were ⁤provided with resources such as voter registration forms and ⁤the ⁣chance to connect with advocacy groups ⁤like the League of Women Voters. Chapman urged the audience to stay ⁢informed‌ about ​local,⁢ state, and federal politics and to‍ exercise their right ⁢to vote.

Speaking on behalf of the ⁢Salt ‍Lake County Clerk’s Office, Chapman added, “As your county clerk, I am dedicated ‍to ​ensuring ⁢that ⁤every voter in Salt Lake City has a voice in shaping our government — everyone deserves to be heard⁢ in our community.”

Lorena Riffo-Jenson, Salt ​Lake City’s⁢ director of economic development,‌ shared her personal‌ journey as a naturalized U.S.‍ citizen. Despite the challenges, she​ expressed immense ​pride⁣ in becoming a⁤ U.S. citizen in 1993 after fleeing from an‍ oppressive dictatorship in Chile in 1973.

“Becoming a citizen⁤ of a country founded on the principles of ⁢liberty and justice for ‌all brought me immense joy,” Riffo-Jenson shared. ​She ​expressed her ‍gratitude for the freedom to express diverse views and opinions in⁣ the U.S., unlike the oppressive government ​her family escaped from ⁣in Chile. She‍ emphasized ​that these differences in opinion are crucial for building a progressive society.


“You represent what the United States of America stands for —‍ a ⁢beautiful mosaic of people with diverse stories and backgrounds, immigrants ‍who choose ​to contribute to this incredible country.‌ Your⁢ resilience, ⁣hard⁢ work, and unique perspectives are needed to continue shaping the history of the United States of America and‍ to keep the beacon of hope alive for many around the world.”

– Lorena Riffo-Jenson, Salt Lake City’s ‌director of ⁢economic‌ development


Riffo-Jenson ⁣urged the ‌new citizens to exercise their⁢ newfound privilege and make‍ their voices heard in their⁤ new ⁢community. She encouraged them to set an example for their home countries by actively participating in their new government, in honor of⁣ those ‍who don’t have the same opportunity.

Before the distribution‌ of the‍ naturalization certificates, the new​ citizens ‌were​ given a ⁢chance to share their personal journeys and ​what this​ occasion meant to them and their families. One woman, who⁤ wished to remain ⁢anonymous, stood up to share her feelings about the day’s ‌ceremony.

“Our journey has been long and⁤ challenging, but⁣ today my daughter has become a U.S. citizen, and that ​means we can stay together in this wonderful country,” ‍said the ⁤woman, overcome with emotion. “I am deeply grateful for this journey to come ‍to an end and a new one to begin — ⁤this is the⁣ last bastion of freedom like no other, and I am ⁢profoundly ⁢grateful for⁣ that.”

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Truth Media Network
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