by Winston Pierre
WASHINGTON (CNS) – “It took me more than 10 years to become a U.S. citizen,” said Mark Rozario. “God is good!”
Rozario, a Catholic, immigrated to the U.S. from Bangladesh with a work visa in 2002. During a naturalization ceremony June 18 at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., he expressed relief at finally getting his citizenship.
“The process was hard,” he told Catholic News Service. “I had to wait and wait. I got it, at last.”
Rozario, who works at an architectural firm, said his main support throughout the process has been his employer. “They helped and stood by me,” he said.
His dream of becoming a U.S. citizen was the engine of his hope during the long wait for naturalization. As he put it, “It has always been a dream for me. I knew, even, before I came that the U.S.A. was a country of opportunities and I wanted to be [one of] its citizens,” he said.
Naturalization ceremonies are the final step in the journey to U.S. citizenship. Each year, between 600,000 and 700,000 immigrants become citizens, said Joanne Ferreira, spokeswoman, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
The naturalized citizens at this year’s ceremony represented more than 40 countries.