26 new Americans sworn in at Jersey City naturalization ceremony

Twenty-six new Americans were sworn in as citizens at a ceremony in Jersey City.

Twenty-six new Americans were sworn in as citizens at a ceremony in Jersey City. (2/22/17)

JERSEY CITY - Twenty-six people from 18 countries were sworn in as new Americans at a naturalization ceremony in Jersey City Wednesday.

Among them was Ekaterima Tsarkou, who became a citizen nine years after leaving her homeland of Russia.

“I’m the first person in my family to be a U.S. citizen,” she says. “It’s [George] Washington’s birthday, and it’s amazing to become a U.S. citizen on his birthday, the father of the country.”

Carl August of Haiti has lived in America as a legal resident for 40 years and decided now is the time to become a citizen.

“Just the climate in the country, I think, we have a lot of anti-immigration climate,” he says. “So it’s just necessary, I think."

Immigration attorney Andres Mejer says that August is not alone in his concerns that policy changes by the Trump administration could impact the paths to citizenship.

"It's harder to come in legally,” Mejer says. “There aren't that many legal paths if you're outside the U.S. coming in, particularly if you're from certain countries."

There have been a series of naturalization ceremonies across the country this week. About 25,000 people have become citizens.

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VIDEO: Citizenship ceremony held in Jersey CityVIDEO: Citizenship ceremony held in Jersey City

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