New American citizens sworn-in in Harlem

July 26, 2013 3:01:40 PM PDT
Immigrants from 47 countries ended a journey paved with hard work and determination on Friday in Harlem to become citizens.

At the New York Historical Society, the city's oldest museum, 80 men and women took the oath of allegiance and in an instant became full-fledged Americans.

"It means my family and me can now travel the world. It means that I have a voice when I vote. And it means that I have a say when it comes to the politics and procedures of the United States of America," Rise Roche said.

Roche's husband can certainly appreciate that. Oswald Roche almost missed his wife's special moment. The U.S. Army specialist asked for and received permission to delay - by one day - his deployment to Germany. He needed the day so he could be here to watch and witness his wife's American dream.

"I know things have been kind of difficult for her not having her citizenship. She finally made it and I'm very proud of her," Specialist Oswald Roche said.

But the 27-year-old didn't stick around for any citizenship celebration parties. He left for Germany soon after his wife took the oath.

"I'm sad that he has to go, but today was a happy day. As I put it, I have to go back to being a single parent when he is gone," Rise said.