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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Fourteen people became American citizens during a naturalization ceremony Thursday at the Mahoning County Courthouse.
Ahmad Omishat obtained a certification and an American flag after living in the country legally for seven years. He came to America to study at Youngstown State University when he was 18.
“I always wanted an American degree, and usually, a United States’ degree is considered one of the best degrees in the world,” he said.
After graduating last May, Omishat had to go through a background check and pass a U.S. Citizenship Test last December.
“I chose to become a citizen, because I want to be able to kind of make decisions in this country and give it value, just like this country gave me value,” he said.
Mahoning County Clerk of Court Anthony Vivo gave the Oath of Allegiance. He said he believes that politicians should be doing more for immigrants.
“I don’t think there has been discussion between the two sides, and gridlock has dominated Congress in the last 10 to 15 years, and it’s been unfortunate,” he said.
Omishat has been keeping up with conversations between presidential candidates. He said no one should try to stop people from gaining citizenship.
“This country was built to begin with immigrants, so if somebody decides to take this away or lower somebody’s chances of coming to this country, I don’t think it’s a good idea,” he said.
The new citizens can vote in November, something Omishat is looking forward to in his future as an American.
“I’m definitely going to vote in the next election, finish my master’s degree and hopefully, at some point, I can go for a PhD.