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Politics & Government

New U.S. Citizens Express Hope, Uncertainty After Trump Victory

Julia Ritchey, KUER
Reda Almulhem, from Syria, shows off his patriotic socks next to Judge Paul Warner following a naturalization ceremony at the Salt Lake U.S. District Courthouse on Nov. 9.

About 100 new U.S. citizens attended a naturalization ceremony at the Salt Lake District Courthouse on Wednesday. As they celebrated their new status with friends and families, some are uncertain of what a Trump presidency will mean for them.

A group of 33 citizens from countries all over the world placed their hands over their hearts as they recited the oath of allegiance.
It was was one of three ceremonies held Wednesday to welcome new U.S. citizens to the country and the state of Utah.


For some, like RedaAlmulhem from Syria, the event came as a huge sense of relief after the election of Donald Trump, who has pledged to enact stricter laws on immigration, including a ban on Muslims.


“I’m disappointed definitely," he says. "It was shocking. I don’t know, nobody was expecting it.”


He says he feels like he dodged a bullet gaining citizenship before his presidency, but still feels proud to call America home.


“I’m trying to give him the benefit of the doubt, like he might change once he handles it and realizes that ‘Oh, I cannot say crazy things anymore,’ or ‘Okay, I’m a president now, I have to act like one,’” he says.


FanFan Charles from Haiti says he wishes he could’ve voted in the election, but doesn’t feel nervous about a Trump presidency.


“I know whoever becomes the president, I’m going to support them,” he says. “Because I can do what I know is right to do as U.S. citizen — to do my duty and make America better.”


Valeria Soares, from Brazil, was also surprised by the outcome, but says everything happens for a reason.


“Nothing changes,” she says. “I still have dreams, I still have things that I want to fight for. Whatever I can do to make this country better, I will do it.”


All three of them, now newly minted citizens, said they couldn’t wait to cast their first vote in the next presidential election, a mere 1,455 days away.  


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