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Western New York welcomes new citizens

Posted at 8:14 AM, Feb 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-17 13:24:26-05

More than two dozen people were sworn in as American citizens on Tuesday at the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site.

The process of becoming naturalized takes years and for those new Buffalonians they said it was worth it.

"Buffalo is very nice," said Muhammad from Bangladesh. "I chose Buffalo because it's a nice place."

Muhammad came to America with his wife and three children almost six years ago.

"I was in NYC. I came here only in six months in Buffalo," said Muhammad.

He and his family spent the last five-and-a-half years in New York City after Muhammad found out he was sick.

"They detect my cancer and that's why. it's been a wonderful time in the hospital also. I never believe it, that they are so good," said Muhammad.

He said the American health care saved his life. As for Akhmed Aliyevi the professional sport of boxing here in the U.S. is what pushed him to seize the possible.

"I'm from Russia," said Aliyevi. "I won the New York state championships, I think in 2014 and I went to nationals and they didn't allow me to compete."

He hopes to win the state title again this year and become a national champion. Aliyevi's boxing coach was in his corner Tuesday morning and through his entire process of becoming naturalized.

"He inspired me and pushed me towards it, to the citizenship because it opens a lot of doors for me," said Aliyevi.

Mariehelene Gosseline said the five year process required patience but it was worth it.

"It feels nice to actually get to this point," said Gosseline.

She's from Canada and said family was her motivation.

"I'm married to an American and I have some stepsons and family locally and that's important to me, just to be a citizen of the same country that they are," said Gosseline.

Whether these new citizens seize the possibility of receiving quality health care, or becoming a professional athlete or finding love, they now have one thing in common. They're American.