10 new U.S. citizens celebrated in Juneau

Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - A naturalization ceremony for new citizens was held Wednesday at Juneau's federal building. This was the first time in years the swearing-in occurred in Juneau.

Above: 10 new citizens from 5 different countries take the Oath of Allegiance Wednesday, led by Courtroom Deputy Sandra Haskell. (Photo credit Jasz Garrett/KINY)

Naturalization is commonly referred to as the manner in which a person not born in the United States voluntarily becomes a U.S. citizen.

For the 10 new citizens, it was a special day. The new citizens come from the Philippines, the Netherlands, Canada, Chile, and Mexico.

The Chief United States Magistrate Judge Matthew M. Scoble swore the new citizens in.

“We are a country of immigrants, and we are stronger because of it,” Judge Scoble said during the ceremony.

The Inside Passage Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution were in attendance, namely State Regent Sarah Hieb, Chapter Regent Janet Lassiter, and Chapter Chaplain Georgia Sepel. They welcomed the new citizens.

The families of the new citizens were also present to celebrate.

Jenny Miller, whose home country is the Philippines, told News of the North how it felt to officially become a citizen and what this means to her.

“My husband is American. My two daughters are American and they always tease me, like, you’re the only Filipino here in the household. And I was like, yeah, I wanted to be an American because being an American you have a lot of privileges,” she said. “And this is a great country for everyone. So, that’s why I’ve been waiting for this. I’m so happy, extremely happy that I finally, you know, I got my citizenship already. So, this one, it’s very important.”

She added it’s important for her, her family in America, and her family back in the Philippines.

She shared what she’s looking forward to.

“Everyone says that we can finally vote and I’m happy that I can exercise that privilege and also like working in America is also a privilege, so,” Miller said with a smile.

Many of the other new citizens also expressed their excitement at being able to vote.

Above: Miller shares a little about herself before shaking hands with the Judge. Below: Miller stands with her family after being sworn in. (Photo credit Jasz Garrett/KINY)