New Americans sworn in at Saratoga battlefield
Jul 05, 2018 6:45 am
Kenneth C. Crowe II is reporting for the Times Union 20 new American citizens from 14 different countries were sworn in July 4 at the Saratoga National Historical Park. Nearly 400 people gathered at the visitors center to witness the group take the oath of allegiance and colonial re-enactors fired musket and cannon salutes in honor of the new Americans. As immigrants, they have watched how President Donald Trump’s administration has sought to impost a travel ban on those fleeing Syria and Iran, while also separating children from parents who are crossing the country's borders. “I agree with updating the process, but you just don’t set the door close,” said Basssam Abdelnabi, 39, of Guilderland. Like many new Americans, among the most important things Abdelnabi wanted to accomplish is to gain the right to vote. He is enrolled as a Democrat and looking forward to his first election as a voter this fall. Millicent Okyere, 24, a graduate student at the state University at Albany, said, “I want to my voice to connect with leaders.” Okyere, a native of Ghana, said she is registered as an unaffiliated voter. The battlefield citizenship ceremony was among approximately 175 held nationwide between June 28 and July 10 by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. In Saratoga, volunteer Joe Craig, a retired park ranger, led the crowd in traditional 18th-century toasts to the Declaration of Independence. “They’re as American as apple pie,” Craig said about the new Americans. “Every bit of apple pie ingredients aren’t native to North America.” Read the full story in the Times Union.