CINCINNATI - St. James White Oak hosted a naturalization ceremony Friday, naturalizing citizens from 31 different counties.
In total, 69 people can now call themselves United States citizens.
President Obama’s proposed immigration reform could make it easier for the 11 million illegal immigrants currently in the United States to become citizens.
Those illegal immigrants would be granted a visa and they could become legal permanent residents within eight years.
The plan has drawn immediate criticism, especially from GOP leaders, who say it would leave the United States with ‘unsecured borders’ and a ‘broken immigration system.’
Amarender Karra, who has lived in the United States for 13 years after moving from India, has waited with his wife for the moment he could be naturalized.
“We had to face a lot of tough times to go through every process,” Karra said.
Karra described how tough it was over the past 13 years to jump through hoops in order to become a citizen.
“First we had to apply the labor, then once the labor comes, then you apply for the green card, then after you become a green card holder, then you wait 5 years to become a citizen,” Karra said.
Karra says he’s in support of the proposed reform because he knows what it’s like to wait through the process.
“I know a lot of people who cannot see their kids. A lot who have lost their parents. At least legally they can go back to their country, work, pay their taxes, and all those things,” Karra said. “It's a dream county. It's a lot of opportunities. Good education for your kids, good family.”
9 On Your Side reporter Mekialaya White contributed to this report.
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