Dozens of Tulsans are celebrating Thursday afternoon after becoming U.S. citizens. Tulsa said the ceremony is the largest drive-thru naturalization event in the state.
“I am considered an American citizen. I love it. Thank you so much. I’m so proud of it," said Filonena Waller. Waller is one of 60 people who took the oath Thursday.
“It means so much opportunity. Being able to see that packet and see that I can vote to make a difference. For me it’s always been a dream to join the military and now I can go and do that with nothing holding me back," said Zuri Seymour.
Seymour has dreamed of joining the military since she was in JROTC. Her instructor even tried to adopt her just so she could sign up. When that didn't work out, she began a ten-year process to become a citizen.
“Being way from my family and then also seeing how I had this opportunity and my family is not having it," said Seymour.
The first thing she plans to do as a U.S. citizen is get a passport and join the army.
“10 or 12 years later I’m still passionate about it and I just want to make my family proud and honestly this country that’s been my home for me. Because this is my home," said Seymour.
The city said Thursday's ceremony brings the total to 400 new immigrants that have become naturalized as citizens under the New Tulsans Initiative that began in April 2019.