Becoming American

By Matt Porter

July 19, 2013 Updated Jul 19, 2013 at 11:39 PM EST

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) In a steamy courtroom, 25 immigrants from countries across the world came to meet and pledge their allegiance to their new homeland.

The citizens recited the naturalization oath of allegiance with their family beside them.

Dion Peter, from Dominica, stood beside his wife and kids as he repeated the oath.

"It's a blessing, it's a privilege for all the opportunities, the freedoms, the rights you have here," Peter said. "I think it's an opportunity to be an American citizen."

His wife, Carrie, said she was proud to see her husband become an American.

"It's been a long process. He's done a lot of work, studied hard," Carrie Peter said. "It's a very exciting day for us."

The new citizens came from countries including Uzbekistan, Iraq and Sweden.

Some had lived in the area for just a few years. But one man lived on Front Street for 50 years.

Lothar Schlesiger came from Germany and stood with his five American children and 10 American grandchildren.

He's glad that he was able to come to the country legally, and on the issue of illegal immigration, he said he understands the nation's dilemma.

"The difficult times the country is going through," Schlesiger said, "They have to be a little bit careful about who they allow to come into this country."

The new citizens will all have a chance to vote and let there voices be heard on all issues in the United States as soon as the November General Election.