October 11, 2011

Becoming a U.S. Citizen, A Lifelong Desire Finally Comes True

For one new citizen this day has special meaning


WHITE PLAINS, NY: Among the one hundred thirty–eight joyful new American citizens recently sworn in by Westchester County Clerk Timothy C. Idoni was one young woman for whom this day had a very special meaning.  Ingrid Marleni Hernandez came to the United States from El Salvador as a young child sixteen years ago with her parents who were in search of a better life for their children.  Even as a youngster, Ingrid always held onto the desire, despite many obstacles, to one day be a citizen of the United States.  “As County Clerk, one of the most enjoyable parts of my duties is administering the Oath of Citizenship to hundreds of people like Ingrid Hernandez who have fulfilled their dreams to become citizens of the United States,” stated Idoni.  The ceremony was held at the Westchester County Courthouse in White Plains on October 5th.


Recalling her long journey, Ingrid was encouraged by her family, especially her mom who told her to never give up on her dream, “My mother was a strong influence in helping me believe that I could become a citizen one day.  Growing up in Port Chester, I always felt different because I wasn’t a citizen, but my mom believed in me and said it would benefit me becoming a citizen by opening more doors for me and a better life.” Ingrid recalled how sad she felt when her father had to leave the family and return to El Salvador, yet this drove Ingrid even more to complete her own citizenship process and help her father to one day return to the United States and become a citizen, too.

Clerk Idoni with Ingrid Marleni Hernandez

The naturalization process to become a United States citizenship is conferred upon a foreign citizen or national after they fulfill the requirements established by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). These requirements include a period of residency within the United States, the ability to read, write and speak English, an understanding of United States history, and applicants must demonstrate good moral character.


Ingrid, proudly displaying the naturalization certificate presented to each new citizen during Naturalization ceremonies, hopes to go back to school and pursue new opportunities.  “Today is a very special day for me. I know I am making my family very proud, because I never gave up on my dream and now I am a United States citizen. I feel great!”


For information on applying for citizenship, please visit the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services' website http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis or call (800)375-5283. For information about the Naturalization ceremonies conducted twice a month by the County Clerk’s office visit www.WestchesterClerk.com and click on the Services tab or call (914)995-3087.