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26 people become American citizens in naturalization ceremony

Posted at 1:07 PM, Feb 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-21 18:50:43-05

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services welcomed 26 new U.S. citizens Tuesday morning in honor of Presidents Day. This included four who are from the seven countries on President Donald Trump's original travel ban, like Mahad Warsame.

Warsame moved to the U.S. from Somalia a decade ago, and became a citizen Tuesday morning.

"There are no enough words that I could put to show how excited I am," Warsame said.

He was all smiles, holding the stars and stripes, and the piece of paper that solidified his greatest dream.

"We want to be in America," said Warsame. "Peaceful place where they can raise their kids or even have a future to look forward to."

It's a future he thought he wasn't going to have with President Donald Trump's original travel ban. The order would have banned citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the U.S. for 90 days. Somalia was on that list.

"There could be soldiers, people standing in front of  my house, taking me... getting deported, that's what I was afraid of," said Warsame.

The new citizens come from 18 different countries.

This is part of USCIS' annual celebration of Presidents Day. This year, they are holding more than 162 naturalization ceremonies across the country, and welcoming more than 25,000 new citizens.

Former Buffalo Sabres player, Marty Biron was one of the people naturalized at the event Tuesday morning.

"I've been here in the U.S., married a Buffalonian, an American, and with my kids too - I've got four kids and for us to be a family and be a part of the process," said Biron. "I was thinking about that sitting here. I've been in the U.S. for 20 years, in Western New York, in Rochester, Buffalo, and everywhere in the Northeast but for a lot of the other people, their stories are much different, much more difficult. Now it's a privilege and it's pretty special."