Saturday, September 20, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Fairfield gained 43 new Americans Saturday

3 naturalization ceremony 1

Devraj Ghosh, left, and Vinod Muniswamy hold up their right hands as they are sworn in as Americans during a naturalization ceremony at the Fairfield Civic Center Library, Saturday. United States and Immigration Services' Sacramento field office director Monica Toro swore in 50 new U.S. citizens. Saturday's naturalization ceremony was the first to be held in Fairfield off of Travis Air Force Base. Ghosh and Muniswamy are originally from India. (Aaron Rosenblatt/Daily Republic)

By
From page A1 | August 03, 2014 |

FAIRFIELD — Cheers and applause filled the Becker-Balmer meeting room in the Fairfield Civic Center library Saturday afternoon.

About 100 people packed the space to watch 43 local immigrants, representing 11 nations, become American citizens.

Vinod Muniswamy was one of them.

He came to the United States almost 17 years ago in “pursuit of knowledge.” He went to college and has lived in Texas, Michigan and Pennsylvania before settling in Fairfield.

The idea of becoming a citizen became a priority after the birth of his first child, a son, 19 months ago.

“He’ll grow up here,” Muniswamy said.

Becoming an American citizen is one way he can repay what this country has given him, he said. “I am pleased and privileged to be an American by choice.”

Devraj Ghosh came to the United States in 1999 from India to attend college. He lived in Chicago and Indiana prior to moving to Fairfield.

“I feel America is a fair country,” he said. “You work hard and you get the results you need.”

Becoming a citizen gave him a sense of accomplishment, he said.

Ghosh believes immigrants should follow the path to citizenship as set forth by the law.

“There were other ways to do this,” he said. “I could have taken a shortcut. I feel it should be done the way the law says.”

His wife Sneha Ghosh, who became a United States citizen while living in Chicago, said she was very proud and happy for her husband.

She was impressed with the ceremony that included remarks from Harry Price, Fairfield’s mayor, and the presence of a Boy Scout honor guard.

“This was beautiful,” she said. Her ceremony was in front of a judge, done in roll-call fashion, she said.

In his keynote address to the new citizens, Price encouraged them to share their native tongue and customs with future generations.

His ancestors, he said, came from Germany, Wales, Scotland and Holland.

“My grandparents did not want us to learn their native language,” he said. “I’ve been handicapped all my 77 years (not speaking a second language). Share your first language with your children.”

It was the first time such an event has been held in the city of Fairfield, said Sharon Rummery, a public affairs officer with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Bringing the ceremony to Fairfield saved the new citizens a trip to and from Sacramento, where the ceremonies are held on a regular basis.

Reach Amy Maginnis-Honey at 427-6957 or amaginnis@dailyrepublic.net. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/amaginnisdr.

Amy Maginnis-Honey

Amy Maginnis-Honey

Amy Maginnis-Honey joined the staff of the Daily Republic in 1980. She’ll tell you she was only 3 at the time. Over the past three decades she’s done a variety of jobs in the newsroom. Today, she covers arts and entertainment and writes for the Living and news pages.
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 11 comments

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  • Mr.RAugust 03, 2014 - 7:44 am

    This is the proper way to become a citizen.Earn it,not have the president give it to you.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • CD BrooksAugust 03, 2014 - 7:51 am

    Mr.R, really? Which president did that?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • gemmaAugust 03, 2014 - 11:04 am

    @Mr. R-I completely agree. I can't even begin to imagine how many people are walking through the desert right now, with their jug of water,with kids or kids they left behind, to come here for all the luxuries they'll receive, without ever having to get their citizenship. Free Medical, Dental, drivers license, it's like winning the lottery.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • JagAugust 03, 2014 - 11:30 am

    Mr. R trust me normally I would be on your side but I think you are confusing Obama delaying deportations (which he can legally do) and I don't like with making these illegal people citizens which he is not doing.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • JagAugust 03, 2014 - 7:52 am

    HHMMmmmm coming here the legal way what a concept, and let’s hope Harry next speech is a farewell speech to the city of Fairfield,

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • mikeAugust 03, 2014 - 11:04 am

    Why did it take this guy 17 years ? A huge advantage Not to be one some where.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Dr RussTAugust 03, 2014 - 11:20 am

    Unfortunately, most folks who are immigrating are doing so for financial reasons rather than a belief in American ideals. Just look at the pics attached to this article. Hardly any smiles in the crowd. I see an attitude of, "yeah, let's get this over with."

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • PeaceAugust 03, 2014 - 2:25 pm

    Great timely article to show the right way of becoming a citizen of this great country. In the article, Devraj Ghosh shared the right attitude about immigrating to the US by saying that America is a fair country and provides opportunities for those who are willing to work hard and respect the laws of this country. I think Harry Price's grandparents also understood the importance of assimilating by making sure their family learned English. We need more articles like this to remind us that we are a nation of opportunities, and laws!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • MRAugust 03, 2014 - 5:17 pm

    You are ALL morons..EDUCATE yourselves before commenting!!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • PeaceAugust 03, 2014 - 7:12 pm

    MR...YOUR ignorance and name calling speak for themselves.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • FYIAugust 03, 2014 - 8:52 pm

    The Mister and this MR or MR.R are not the same person...maybe more tricks and tactics.... one can never really tell...... and remember these words people.... Thank You Jesus Save Me...... read Revelation in the Bible

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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