ITHACA, N.Y. –– The Tompkins County courthouse was packed Wednesday for a naturalization ceremony that welcomed 29 new U.S. citizens into the community.
“America is richer for having you come here,” Tompkins County Legislator Mike Sigler said at the start of the ceremony. “We can achieve the promise of America with people like yourselves.”
Mike Hall, the director of Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport, which has plans to expand to include international travel, also spoke at the ceremony.
“We thrive on the richness that others bring here,” he said.
The 29 petitioners were asked to take an Oath of Allegiance to the U.S., finalizing their legal citizenship. Supreme Court Justice Joseph Cassidy presided over the ceremony.
The day was special for a lot of the people in the courtroom, but for one family the occasion was truly full circle.
Emil Bielecki was naturalized as a U.S. citizen after emigrating from Poland 47 years ago. His son-in-law Sanchay Madan, from India, was naturalized in the ceremony Wednesday.
“I moved to the U.S. three years ago with my wife who is from here,” Sanchay said. “We’re pretty permanent here.”
Bielecki was beaming walking out of the courthouse with his family.
“I’m an immigrant, she went over to India to study and met him, so it all kind of flows together,” he said.
The petitioners honored in the Nov. 6 ceremony are as follows
Samai Janniam Ardley
Victoriya Arguijo (Victoria Arguijo)
Sarah Dawn Brogan
Yuri Carreira Alflen
Fabrizio Estelio Casanova Alaimo
Christian Morin Elliott
Natalya Aleksandrovna Gordinier (Natalya Aleksandrovna Shatskikh)
Jackie Jia Wei Liu
Fay Pearleta McCormack
Alex Nnamdi Obinatu
Yarely Sarahi Osuna Pena (Sarahi Osuna Pena)
Livia Margarita Santana Canelon
Ho Jun Shin (Hojun Shin)
Supriya Malvika Talwar (Malvika Dillman Talwar)
Pranesh Sai Vadlamudi