“This paper changes everything,” said Monu Shinchaury as she pointed to her U.S. citizenship certificate.
The Bhutan-born Shinchoury was one of 29 people who became U.S. citizens during a Nov. 18 naturalization ceremony in the Brandeis School of Law’s Allen Courtroom.
Law School Dean Susan Duncan said the school was thrilled to host the event and witness the conclusion of an important legal and personal journey for a group of people who chose to become American citizens
U.S. District Judge David Hale, Western District of Kentucky, presided at the ceremony and speakers included UofL’s vice provost for diversity and international affairs, Mordean Taylor-Archer, and law Professor Lars Smith, who is also an associate dean for academic affairs.
Smith shared memories from his own family’s journey to citizenship. Smith and his mother were born in Denmark and he said one of his mother’s greatest treasures was her green card.
“She saw America as a shining beacon of hope,” he said.
“Louisville has become a richer and more vibrant place now that you have joined us as citizens,” he told the newly-inducted Americans.
The poignant ceremony was a chance for the law school’s recently established Brandeis Human Rights Fellows to see the immigration-to-citizenship process in action. The fellows are addressing the needs of immigrant/refugee populations as their initial focus.
Shinchoury called the naturalization ceremony “amazing and kind of emotional.”
“It makes me feel cared for and loved and accepted,” she said.
See more photos from the ceremony here. Watch parts of the ceremony in the video below: