CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WOWK) – Almost 70 individuals took the Oath of Allegiance on Monday, September 16, 2019, to become United States citizens. And for many families, today was a dream come true.
Brian and Cristina Balajadia grew up in the Philippines. Opportunities for them were slim, so they decided it was time to try and move to the land of opportunity.
“It’s a dream come true. It’s our ultimate dream and an answered prayer. Anyone who wants to work here, stay here, or live here in the United States is an answered prayer. Really a great blessing to be an American citizen”, says Cristina Balajadia.
Brian and his family made the decision to come to the states to take the next step in his goal of becoming a physical therapist. He says his career goals couldn’t be attained unless they made the move to America.
“It’s a land of dreams, it’s a land of opportunity”, says Brian Balajadia, “It’s very hard to find a job in the Philippines as a physical therapist so I’m very, very thankful to have my job and family here”.
But the transition didn’t happen overnight. For the Balajadia family, it took 13 long years. Despite today’s climate and immigration laws, they’re thankful to be here. Becoming a United States citizen was something they were unsure would ever happen.
“It’s all worth it. It’s really an answered prayer and a blessing from God”, says Christina.
Families told WOWK 13 News the ceremony made them emotional, and they are just happy to see the sacrifices their loved ones have made pay off.