President Carter greets new American citizens in Plains - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

President Carter greets new American citizens in Plains

PLAINS, GA (WALB) -  President Jimmy Carter welcomed 20 new American citizens in a rare naturalization ceremony at Plains High School today.

"It's with emotion and pride that I congratulate you on becoming citizens of the United States," said the 39th President of the United States.

President Carter welcomed 20 immigrants to American citizenship on Monday.

"This is one of my dreams come true," said Colombian Harold Urquijo.

"Like I said, I'm proud to be part of the country now and take my next step in life," said Ukrainian Igor Kolba.

The new citizens took part in patriotic singing, and saluted the flag for the first time as Americans, but it's what will come next that has these two so excited.

"My next step is to become a police officer. I want to be able to serve the community in Columbus, Georgia," said Urquijo.

Igor Kolba came to America from Ukraine 12 years ago. He's currently a college student with dreams of owning his own company.

"I mean you've got to follow the paperwork and things like that but it's so worth it. I don't know. I mean I can start my own business. Become an entrepreneur," said Kolba.

Kolba and Urquijo were two of more than 20,000 immigrants who will become citizens this year, just through the Atlanta office. Anyone who wants to join that group only has to follow a few steps.

"Basically the requirements for citizenship require that you be a lawful permanent resident for anywhere between 3 and 5 years depending on how you got that residency and that you be a person of good moral character and that you speak, read, and write basic English," said Deputy Director of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services Joseph Kernan.

You can find the requirements for the citizenship process by visiting this website.

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