Local News

Raleigh Welcomes Its Newest Citizens

Posted May 24, 2007 10:50 p.m. EDT
Updated May 25, 2007 6:26 a.m. EDT

— All the debate of immigration aside, dozens of people from around the world heard a simple, but powerful phrase Thursday.

“I welcome you, my fellow citizens.”

In all, 46 people in Raleigh took the oath to become citizens of the United States.

Each one had a story. One man escaped the tyranny of communist China. Another escaped the tyranny of a corrupt government and poverty in Nigeria.

“I’m just happy to be here in this country,” said Sandra Maria Phillips, a native of Jordan.

Joany Rosales, from Cuba, took the oath to renounce "all foreign prince, potentate, state and sovereignty."

“To me, it means I finally get the freedom we always wanted,” Rosales said. “It’s been a rough road.”

WRAL Anchor David Crabtree, whose forebears came from Germany and Great Britain, spoke to the new citizens.

“You see, those of us who have been here all of our lives have a tendency to take things for granted,” Crabtree said. “And we need to be reminded just how precious it is to be a citizen of this country.”