'It was incredibly moving': 24 become US citizens before White Sox game

Ceremony 1st of its kind for MLB White Sox baseball team

ByMaher Kawash WLS logo
Wednesday, May 31, 2023
'It was incredibly moving': 24 become US citizens before Sox game
The two dozen people were from 17 different countries.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The oath of a lifetime dream came true for 24 people in Chicago Wednesday, as years of hard work were realized. They become U.S. citizens.

A district court judge was on the field, swearing them in ahead of the White Sox baseball game.

"This has become home, and now I'm part of home," River West resident Alexandra Melo said.

Melo has been trying to become a citizen for seven years, hailing from Germany, and now, a proud American.

"I'm so happy that now I have my citizenship because now I can travel a little bit before coming back and building more of my life," Melo said.

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The two dozen people were from 17 different countries, and all of them took part in the special ceremony that was the first of its kind the White Sox have hosted.

"We've got hot dogs for them in the party area, of course, for them to enjoy the game, but to the White Sox organization, this was just amazingly special, a lot of tears in a lot of people's eyes out there," said Christine O'Reilly, vice president of community relations for the White Sox. "It was incredibly moving."

"I think there's an assurance for everyone standing here today that you have the government by your back, and you're not afraid of any under formed forces," said Jacklyne Keomany a North Side resident from Canada.

The moment, that was special in itself, was even more memorable as the White Sox manager handed out hats to each person, and the team joined them for the national anthem before the game.

All 24 people are now officially Americans and Sox fans for life.

"I love baseball; my mom is a Sox fan. I don't have any one I'm a fan of, but I guess it will be the Sox now," Melo said.