Twenty five new Erieites are spending their first day as American citizens sworn in at a time when the country is dealing with deep racial, cultural, and economic divides.
We spoke with one of these new citizens who is looking forward to continuing to help the Erie community despite the issues.
Dozens have their right hand raised as they put their stamp on becoming U.S. Citizens.
Elizabeth Garcia, who was born in Nicaragua, is grateful to have the opportunity to work as a physician in Erie. She said that back home she won’t have the kind of freedom that she has in the land of the free.
“Just the fact that I can talk about COVID, about political things, it’s so freely to do that here. But in Nicaragua, you can’t talk about any of this because if you talk about COVID you are against the government,” said Elizabeth Garcia, New American.
Garcia wishes to help her family and others back home, yet it isn’t possible because the Nicaraguan government won’t let her. This is why she embraces her passion for helping people in Erie.
“Helping the community for now and that is our plan to continue to help the community the way that we’re doing it. Helping people and making them feel better while they’re at the hospital,” said Garcia.
The mayor said that having new Americans in Erie brings the diversity that is needed.
“I think having this continuous influx of new Americans is very positive and I think we’re getting more diverse also,” said Mayor Joe Schember, (D), City of Erie.
The diversity is coming a long way into Erie.
“To be free, to be able to speak up. My voice is always heard by everyone so I feel safe and happy to be here,” said Garcia.
Mayor Schember said that events like these help increases Erie’s cultural complexity.
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