KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) – 25 people in Lenoir County had an extra reason to celebrate the July 4thholiday. They’re now U.S. citizens.
It was a day Talal Obeid, new U.S. citizen, will never forget.
“I used to be a stateless person,” Obeid said. “This will be the first citizenship my entire life.”
He was born and raised in Kuwait and spent many years there until he met his American wife and decided to move to the states.
“It’s not a birthright country, so that prevented me from being a citizen and I could not live my life to my fullest potential,” he added.
He wasn’t in a rush to become a U.S. citizen until 2016.
“We are approaching an election year and voting is the most American thing a person can do, and I want to be a part of that experience as well,” Obeid explained.
Monday morning, he traveled over two hours to become a citizen on July 4th. He had his visa in hand and was ready to turn it in.
“They will renounce their allegiance to their former nation. They will pledge that they will support the constitution and our country rules and laws and the democracy of the United States,” said Pamela Wilson, of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
This holiday week, more than 6,000 people around the country will become U.S. citizens. Of the 25 new citizens in Kinston this Fourth of July, many of them signed up to vote immediately after the ceremony.
Obeid said he can’t wait to go home and eat some American classics like hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill.
Many of the people who received their citizenship Monday morning were from across North Carolina.