STAMFORD, Conn. — They walked in to the Ferguson Library in Stamford nervous and excited — with family and cameras in tow. But the 149 visitors left with more than just books and smiles Friday.
The 149 candidates for citizenship, from 54 countries, were presented to the U.S. District Court of Connecticut at the library on Friday. Senior U.S. District Judge Warren W. Eginton administered the oath of citizenship to America's newest citizens during a special session of the court at the library’s third-floor auditorium.
Norwalk resident Luisa Soares, who emigrated from Argentina, told the Daily Voice that she was very excited to be at the ceremony.
“We’ve been waiting for this for many years,” Soares said shortly before she took the oath. “We’re very proud we’re going to be American citizens.”
Some of the participants drove long distances to take the oath. Andrés Rincón came from Willimantic — a nearly two-hour trip.
“It’s exciting” said Rincón, who emigrated from Colombia. “It’s been a long process.”
Rincón said he studied for the naturalization test with books and DVDs. He added that he now will be able to vote and serve on a jury.
Eginton presided over two ceremonies, one at 11:30 a.m. and another at 2 p.m. Each were scheduled to be attended by 75 candidates, according to the library.
Ferguson Library President Alice Knapp provided welcoming remarks for both ceremonies.
The 11:30 a.m. ceremony started nearly 10 minutes early — the excited candidates were present and ready way in advance.
The candidates come from the following 54 countries: Antigua-Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazil, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, People’s Republic of China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Czech Republic, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hong Kong, India, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kampuchea, Lebanon, Mexico, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Sri Lanka, St. Lucia, Sudan, Thailand, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Venezuela and Vietnam.
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