GREENSBORO, N.C. – On Tuesday, July 4, fifty people will become United States citizens at a naturalization ceremony in Old Salem. One of those people is Alfred Foday, originally from Liberia.
“It’s a great country. Everyone wants to be part of this country, for different reasons,” he said, “But for me, taking the initiative to become a citizen of the United States, is for my children.”
Foday, his wife Mercy, and his oldest son left Liberia and came to America about 9 years ago. He remembers the date well – September 8, 2008. His home country had been suffering from civil war and the economic breakdown that followed.
“Our whole economics was broken down,” Foday said, “And I prayed, and thank God for this country, the United States that provides a lot of economic opportunities to people.”
Years later, he has 6 children, a home, and a job in Greensboro and calls it the American Dream. Although he's from West Africa, he says he's as American as it comes.
“I am American. One way or the other, I am American. So I ought to make it legal,” he said.
On July 4, in Old Salem, he’s making it official and becoming a citizen after a years-long naturalization process. He'll be one out of 50 people from 26 countries to do it.
“I am very excited. Everyone is excited for this kind of news, you know being a citizen of the United States,” he said.
Every year, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services reports about 680,000 people become U.S. citizens.