Honolulu Welcomes New Citizens - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Honolulu Welcomes New Citizens

Ka-Ram Shim Ka-Ram Shim

By Mary Simms

HONOLULU (KHNL) -- Hawaii welcomes 73 new American citizens, as Honolulu celebrates Constitution Week and Citizenship Day.

Citizens of the world: all here to officially become "Americans."

Ivan Boskovic is a petty officer with the U.S. Navy, but until Wednesday he wasn't a citizen.  He immigrated from Serbia two years ago, joining the U.S. military to expedite his naturalization process.

"The most important part of me being in the U.S.," he said.  "Finally I can travel with a U.S. passport, and I can vote.  I'm an American now."

A musician in the Pacific Fleet band, Boskovic only had to wait one year to apply for citizenship, instead of the usual five.  He said his dreams are coming true.

"Yes, I have a dream to come to U.S. and I'm a musician," he said.  "I've ben playing the trumpet for like 20 years and I like the military, so everything is great for me."

For Ka-Ram Shim, this day has been a long time coming.

"It's taken too long. I know that much," he said.

After 19 years, he already considers himself an American.

"I think that I've been an American and I've experienced a really good life here," said Shim.  "And I want even more opportunities."

Mayor Mufi Hannemann spoke to the group about his own family's immigration experience.

"I really appreciated what Mayor Hannemann had to say because I have a similar story with my family," said Shim.  "My dad, my mom came over here to seek a better life and I think they succeed in that. So, to get this I think it fulfils their hopes that we would have a good life here."

Last year, U.S. Citizenship and Naturalization Services assisted more than 700,000 residents become citizens, across the nation.

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