39 new US citizens get sworn in at Harrison County ceremony

Source: KLTV Staff
Source: KLTV Staff(KLTV Staff)
Published: Apr. 28, 2022 at 2:16 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 28, 2022 at 8:24 PM CDT
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MARSHALL, Texas (KLTV) - The United States population just got a little larger. Thirty-nine new U.S. citizens were sworn in at the historic Marshall courthouse, and some of them have been waiting for decades to become U.S. citizens.

Thirty-nine people from 13 different countries were declared eligible for naturalization The ceremony was held in what is normally the Harrison County Commissioner’s Courtroom. It was packed with officials, family, and friends. Chief United States District Judge James Rodney Gilstrap presided over the ceremony.

“This is a special and a happy day for our soon-to-become newest citizens,” Gilstrap said.

The Marshall High School choir was on hand to put an exclamation point on that statement.

“From the mountains to the valleys to the oceans white with foam,” the choir sang.

Elena Asana Cox was born into what she calls tragic circumstances in the Soviet Union. She is just one of the stories of the people who are about to be U.S. citizens.

“And that I take this obligation freely,” the 39 said.

“Without any mental reservation,” Gilstrap said.

“Without any mental reservation,” the 39 said.

“Or purpose of evasion,” Gilstrap said.

“Or purpose of evasion,” the 39 said.

“So help me God,” Gilstrap said.

“So help me God,” the 39 said.

“Congratulations,” Gilstrap said.

Asana Cox said she has waited about 15 years for this day and found the ceremony to be “exciting, impressive.”

“I’m very proud. I so appreciate the concept of this unique opportunity to become a citizen,” Asana Cox said. “You have no choice where you’re born, but you have a choice where you would like to live and become a citizen. I appreciate it.”

Elena is married, has five kids, and managed to scrounge up a job in biomedical research.

She seems to feel pretty much the same as the other new citizens.

“I’m proud of this country. I’m proud of the people of this country, and I pledge to the flag of the United States of America,” Asana Cox said.

“My home sweet home,” sang the Marshall High School Choir.

This was the first in-person Naturalization Ceremony held in East Texas since 2018.

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KLTVs Jamey Boyum talked with newly naturalized citizen Fabiola Munoz and gave us a look at the ceremony at the historic Harrison County Courthouse.