September 19, 2019

25 citizenship candidates naturalized during fifth annual Civic Festival and Constitution Day

After three years of waiting, Maria Sanchez was thrilled to be sworn in as a United States citizen during this year’s Constitution Week.

Sanchez is a mother, wife, and now a potential employee in the United States. After 22 years of living between the U.S. and Mexico on various green card exchanges, citizenship has an undeniable value to  her family.

“What I most look forward to is that now I can vote in elections,” said Sanchez. “Getting to raise my boys and having the ability to work changes everything.”

Alejandra Iberri (left) and Maria Sanchez were among 25 citizenship candidates who were naturalized on Tuesday, Sept. 17, during the fifth annual Civic Festival and Constitution Day celebration hosted on Wayne State University's main campus.

Sanchez was among 25 citizenship candidates who were naturalized during the fifth annual Civic Festival and Constitution Day celebration hosted on the main campus of Wayne State University on Tuesday, Sept. 17, which was Citizenship Day in the United States.

Constitution Day and Citizenship Day was declared a national observance by Congress 67 years ago, recognizing the signing of the U.S. Constitution in 1787 and honoring those who have become American citizens.

Ford Motors engineer, expecting mother and Mexican immigrant Alejandra Iberri was also naturalized during Tuesday’s ceremony. Previously residing in Arizona while finishing her formal education, Iberri has lived in Michigan for three years and is eager to settle in now that she is a U.S. citizen.

Iberri said that since she’s lived and worked in the U.S. for some time, earning her citizenship was the logical next step. She said she does not anticipate many changes to her lifestyle because of her new citizenship; however, she looks forward to the security that it grants her.

Wayne State is home to 27,000 students who collectively represent 77 different countries. Being the most diverse university in the state and one of the most distinctly cultural schools in the country, it only makes sense for Wayne State to hold a naturalizing ceremony.

Highest congratulations are in order for Sanchez, Iberri, and the 23 other individuals who were sworn in to the U.S. legal population this Constitution Week at Wayne State University.