Dozens of Erie residents are now American citizens after a naturalization ceremony at the federal courthouse.

Several times a year, New Americans are sworn in at the Erie Federal Courthouse to become citizens.

On Friday, dozens of residents became American citizens, including one immigrant from Ukraine. Many New Americans say they have been waiting for today for many years.

One New American born in Congo says the Erie community has made him feel welcome.

“Usually we have to wait for five years before you get your citizen(ship), but I had to wait for seven years. I’m happy, and I’m happy to be here, to be a citizen. Erie’s not a bad place to live. I like it, I have a good job in Erie… I love to be in Erie,” said Bonele Ndagiza, New American citizen.

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Several New Americans say this ceremony also reminds them there is a diverse community in Erie.