After living in the United States for the past 23 years, Andrew Kamau, an immigrant student, has officially relinquished his Kenyan citizenship.
Kamau, a proud father of three, joined a cohort of 140 migrants hailing from 40 diverse countries in a milestone affair on December 8, 2023. Stationed in Chicago, it was here where he accepted his new status as an American citizen. Kamau’s anticipation shined through during his interview with the Chicago News documentary. Originally from Nairobi, Kenya, Kamau relocated to the United States in 2000 to further his education.
As reported by the Bakersfield Californian, one must relinquish their native country to obtain U.S. citizenship. Kamau, along with his spouse and children, embraced this requirement during the swearing-in ceremony. In an interview with an American publication, Bethany McKnight, Kamau’s wife, expressed the profound impact of this occasion on their family. The ceremony, held at a museum, was highlighted by the presiding judge as a historic milestone for the city of Chicago.
“He’s now a citizen (American) and for us to be able to have that moment together is, I think, it is really special,” Bethany McKnight told the publication.
Every year, newly naturalized citizens and their families are gifted a complimentary annual membership. After the event, Kamau expressed his elation as he acknowledged the immense potential of the nation. While Kenya allows individuals to have dual citizenship and a method for renouncers to regain citizenship later on, America requires those seeking citizenship to relinquish their original nationality.
“The promise of this country is still very real,” stated a jubilant Kamau.