Dozens of people gathered at Erie’s Federal Courthouse to complete their final step in the process of becoming a U.S. citizen.
This as one of the city council members hopes her fellow council members could recognize the importance of acknowledging refugee and immigrant heritage.
The new Americans were sworn in today, and Council Member Liz Allen said that this is the reason why she hopes council members can vote yes to having an annual Heritage Month recognizing refugees and immigrants.
It’s an exciting time for fifteen new Americans standing before the federal court judge and going one by one to receive their certificate of American citizenship.
One of those citizens came to America eight years ago from St. Lucia which is one of the Caribbean Islands. She said that she is proud to become an American.
“I do feel privileged and it’s great finally being a citizen having the opportunity to vote and to participate in civic duties,” said Cheryl Anne Elizabeth Dabrel, Citizen.
Dabrel, who works as an accountant, said that she hopes to open an authentic Caribbean restaurant in Erie.
She said that to her America is filled with opportunities that many should consider taking advantage of.
Many people say that America is the melting pot because of having different cultural backgrounds.
Council Member Liz Allen said that over the years Erie has welcomed a large number of refugees who have fled war and poverty.
Allen said that those stories, along with their heritage, need to be acknowledged in the community. So she hopes her resolution to council members marking June as an annual refugee and immigrant month can vote yes to.
“I just want to make sure that people know that it’s an ongoing story for us in Erie. The wave of immigrants and how whether they came here as immigrants or as refugees who are forcibly displaced they manage,” said Liz Allen, City Council Member, City of Erie.
Allen said that she hopes the resolution is passed and that many could begin to learn about other peoples cultural backgrounds.
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