Jon Dinan | Democrat
Recently naturalized U.S. citizen Wendy Jacqueline Amador, left, a native of El Salvador, receiving American flags and an envelope containing applications for photo IDs, voter cards and her passport the from County Clerk Dan Briggs (middle) and County Court Judge Frank LaBuda (right).
Their allegiance is to the United States now
Story by Jon Dinan
MONTICELLO Wendy Jacqueline Amador came to this country from El Salvador in search of job opportunities three and a half years ago.
She is now the Constable of Custodial Services for the SYDA Foundation in South Fallsburg, and a newly naturalized American citizen.
“I am very grateful that I was able to come to this country and find work,” Amador said.
She was one of 17 Sullivan County residents who officially became citizens of the United States. The ceremony, in the Sullivan County Courthouse, was the first in the county since 2008.
“Our country is one of endless opportunities if you’re willing to work hard,” said the Honorable County Court Judge Frank LaBuda. “No person, no matter their wealth, no matter where they come from, is above the law. We are a people of law and our government is one of law.”
LaBuda then referred to a famous quote coined by Abraham Lincoln. “This is a nation of the people, by the people, and for the people. Nowhere is that more evident than in the courtroom,” he said as he welcomed 19 soon-to-be U.S. citizens to the Sullivan County Courthouse in Monticello.
After everyone was seated former Town of Fallsburg Police Chief Angel Lamboy lead in the Pledge of Allegiance, which was carried out deliberately to instruct those who are new to the American practice.
Following the pledge, County Clerk Dan Briggs administered the naturalization oath. He calmy told everyone to relax before he asked each new citizen to raise their right hand and repeat the oath.
The newly made citizens were then given their certificates of naturalization.
Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther showed up during the process and as soon as it finished, she addressed the group of proud new Americans. She congratulated them before briefly discussing her Irish heritage. After a few more words of encouragement from Gunther, Labuda touched upon his own Bohemian ancestry.
“All of us are immigrants in one form or another,” LaBuda stated as he wrapped up the proceedings.
The ceremony was concluded with a rendition of God Bless America led by local attorney Marcia Heller, and was followed up by a small reception where food and drinks were offered.