For 26 new U.S. citizens, a grand start to their 4th of July

Richard C. Dujardin
The Providence Journal

PAWTUCKET — Fourteen-year-old Ian Nagbe admitted to feeling ecstatic.

It was late afternoon Friday, and Ian’s mother, Mapu Nagbe, a native of Liberia, was about to be naturalized as a U.S. citizen in a ceremony before the Pawsox game at McCoy Stadium.

Cheikhna Ndiaye, of Woonsocket, takes the oath to become a U.S. citizen. The Providence Journal Ruben W. Perez

But as the teen observed, his mother’s becoming a citizen was as important for him as for her. Born before his mother moved to the United States 11 years ago, the student at Jenks Middle School could not claim citizenship either — until, that is, he became a son of a U.S. citizen.

When 26 men and women, hailing from 16 countries — Barbados, Brazil, Cape Verde, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Haiti, Iraq, Italy, Liberia, Morocco, Portugal, Russia, Senegal, Syria and Vietnam — took the oath of citizenship before a cheering crowd before Friday night’s Pawsox-Yankees game, many loved ones were there to cheer, too…

… Dennis Riordan, who directs the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services district office in Boston, said only once before did the district conduct a naturalization ceremony in a baseball venue: at Fenway Park in November 2008, at a time when the Red Sox weren’t even there. But Friday, he said, was the first to take place before an actual game.

“I think it’s a fitting because baseball is the nation’s game. American culture and baseball are intertwined,” Riordan said.

Mapu Nagbe, the newly naturalized American citizen from Liberia, acknowledged Friday to being a bit sad about giving up her Liberian citizenship but said she also felt “blessed.”…

The entire article is at the Providence Journal

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