Naturalization Ceremony in Bangor swears in 24 new citizens

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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - Two dozen people from 17 nations were sworn in as United States citizens Friday in Bangor.

"I'm becoming a citizen of the United States. It's incredible. It's surreal actually."

Tracey Hair moved from Australia to the U.S. and says she has been waiting for this day for a long time.

"I came to the states twenty four years ago. I was undocumented for two decades because same sex marriage wasn't recognized, so I wasn't able to gain citizenship until 2015. So we started the process."

As the new citizens took the oath and reviewed their certificates, their families looked on.

"My name is Sifa Kanuga, and I've just become an American citizen."

Sifa Kanuga, who moved to Maine from India, has been waiting over five years for this moment.

"Finally I'm here. I'm a citizen. It's awesome! It's like a dream come true. Finally."

"Remember this moment." said U.S. District Judge Lance Walker. "Make it part of your family history so that future generations can appreciate how they became American citizens."

"It was emotional. But it was amazing." said Hair. "It's wonderful to feel part of something and hopeful, and when I scanned the room and looked at who was beside me, I just felt really optimistic."

"I love America so much." said Kanuga. "And I don't want to go back to my country anymore!"