Senator Romney addresses new citizens at naturalization ceremony

News

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – Senator Mitt Romney was among the first to greet more than 60 new citizens at a naturalization ceremony.

Participants are looking forward to a new beginning as immigration laws remain a divisive issue in our country.

The ceremony was held at the Viridian Event Center in West Jordan, Utah.

It’s the culmination of years of hard work and sacrifice.

Gina Percival came from Colombia about four years ago.

“I’m very proud of the U.S. as a whole because it’s a great nation. It defends all the principles I have been raised for. I am all for freedom, democracy, people’s rights,” said Percival.

She’s one of 62 new Americans from 32 countries to take the Oath of Allegiance at the ceremony.

“People who are legal permanent residents can apply for naturalization, generally, after they’ve lived here as legal permanent residents for five years, they have to be of good moral character, pass a naturalization examination,” said Laura McNeer with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Senator Romney addressed the new citizens.

He says he was thinking of situations across the globe where freedom is under attack.

“There’s a battle, constantly, to defend our rights to free lives, and liberty and America really leads that fight. I’m proud to see this number of people swear allegiance to the country, and swear their willingness to defend the Constitution,” said Romney, (R -Utah).

The senator says he welcomes the nearly 1,000,000 immigrants who come here legally every year, but illegal immigration is a real problem.

He says Congress needs to act on asylum laws, Dreamers and he’d like to see a merit-based system in place.

“We need to have a grand compromise and finally get our immigration system nailed down, because it’s a mess right now, it’s just an awful mess for so many people and I think it’s a black eye for our country to see what’s going on at the Southern Border,” said Romney.

Percival is mindful of that and has mixed emotions as she moves to the next chapter.

“It always breaks my heart to see those stories behind what’s happening at the border, but at the same time, I know there’s rules to be put in place because you can not just have everybody coming at the same time,” she said.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is expecting 5,000 people to go through the naturalization process this year in our state.

WHAT OTHERS ARE CLICKING ON:

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Latest News Videos

Girl with rare skin disease receives opportunity to write book, seeking public's help publishing

Thumbnail for the video titled "Girl with rare skin disease receives opportunity to write book, seeking public's help publishing"

Popeyes introduces bring your own bun

Thumbnail for the video titled "Popeyes introduces bring your own bun"

Brigham City boy with brain cancer is one of many receiving acts of kindness thanks to anonymous donor's pay it forward initiative

Thumbnail for the video titled "Brigham City boy with brain cancer is one of many receiving acts of kindness thanks to anonymous donor's pay it forward initiative"

Sandy Healing Field displays nearly 3,000 flags for 9/11 anniversary

Thumbnail for the video titled "Sandy Healing Field displays nearly 3,000 flags for 9/11 anniversary"

Little Cottonwood Canyon Debris Slide

Thumbnail for the video titled "Little Cottonwood Canyon Debris Slide"
More Video News
Inside Utah Politics Logo

Glen Mills

Chief Political Correspondent

For this Beetdigger and Ute it’s an honor to be doing what he loves in his home state! Glen is an award-winning journalist, who joined the ABC4 Utah team in June 2013. You can catch him anchoring ABC4 Utah News at 4 Monday through Friday. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent, keeping you up to date on issues that impact your life at the city, state and national level. His political reports run throughout the week, and he hosts Inside Utah Politics, Sunday mornings at 8. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Before returning home to Utah, he spent 11 1/2 years developing his journalism skills in other states. He held various on-air and management positions at KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho, WGBA in Green Bay, Wisconsin and KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado during that time.. Read More...

Don't Miss

The Mel Robbins Show

Trending Stories