United States

‘We Have Much More to Do': Vt. Governor Calls for US to Embrace Immigrant Neighbors

Thirty-five people from all over the world, who now call Vermont home, took the oath of allegiance Tuesday in a naturalization ceremony at the Vermont National Guard base in Colchester, becoming the newest U.S. citizens.

Saher Mossa Muhamed Muhamed, who is originally from Iraq, was among them.

"The country is built from many cultures and many different faces," she said of the United States.

Outside at Camp Johnson, and around the country, flags were flying at half-staff to honor the people killed in this weekend's mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton.

Those tragedies were referenced by Gov. Phil Scott, R-Vermont, during the ceremony.

"As recent events demonstrate, we have much more to do," Gov. Scott said.

Investigators in El Paso are looking into a racist and anti-immigrant diatribe suspected to have been left by the mass shooter there.

After divisive rhetoric and even anti-immigrant violence elsewhere, the governor urged all Vermonters and all Americans to fully reject hatred, and to embrace their neighbors from other walks of life.

"We need to reflect on how we developed as a nation — as a state — and welcome people of different backgrounds to reinvigorate what we are and what we're proud of," the Republican said.

New U.S. citizen Marianne Kuitert, from the Netherlands, is pledging to give fellow immigrants the warm reception she has received in Vermont.

"I think there is a lot of dialogue needed in the country, and trying to listen to each other," Kuitert said. "Welcoming foreigners more into this country and being friendly to them -- We all have the same feelings. We all have the same needs. And we should see each other similar, right?"

Right, Gov. Scott and many other state leaders in attendance at Tuesday's ceremony suggested, indicating the nation still must strive toward the final words of its pledge of allegiance: "with liberty and justice for all."

Contact Us