Dozens receive certifications of US citizenship at naturalization ceremonies in Memphis

Published: Jul. 15, 2022 at 12:33 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Some of our nation’s newest citizens are being recognized right here in Memphis.

For the first time since January of 2020, two naturalization ceremonies were held at the Benjamin Hooks Library in Midtown Friday.

The ceremonies were held virtually throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, dozens of people in the Mid-South received certificates certifying them as U.S. citizens in person.

We spoke with a woman from Mexico who says the process was not easy, but it was well worth it.

“My parents tried to do it, but they were not able to accomplish it and it means everything. I know I can be here freely, doing what I want to do, what I need to do and to work where I would like to be,” said Juana Maria Gutirrez-Hernandez.

Her employer has supported her throughout the process for the last six months.

She says she does not know anyone more deserving.

“She just recently received the ‘Employee of the Year’ Award with the Tennessee Department of Correction, so to find out that she’s accomplished a goal of hers is amazing. And we’re going to do everything that we can to continue to support her,” said April Buckner with the Tennessee Department of Correction.

At the ceremony, a video from President Joe Biden was played for the new citizens, congratulating them on their accomplishments.

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