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Victoria Rygh: Proud to be an American

on October 20, 2013 - 2:04pm

Los Alamos resident Victoria Rygh displays her certificate of American citizenship with her husband Scott Rygh, left, and U.S. Sen. Tom Udall. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., left, with Patti Reynolds and representatives from Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham and Ben Ray Lujan's office applaud the newly sworn American citizens. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

 

By CAROL A. CLARK
Los Alamos Daily Post
 

ALBUQUERQUE—Los Alamos resident Victoria Rygh of Honduras joined 68 other New Mexico residents, representing 29 countries, to become a U.S. citizen during a naturalization ceremony Friday afternoon in Albuquerque. 

"I feel very excited but I also know it's a big responsibility," Rygh told the Los Alamos Daily Post following the ceremony. "I want to vote and I want to contribute to my community because it's important to me to be a good citizen in the USA."

Rygh was born in Honduras in the coastal city of Puerto Cortés, which has a population of 165,000. While working at the Puerto Cortés Mayor's Office in 2000, she met her future husband Scott Rygh. He was working for Weston Solutions and was sent to Puerto Cortés following the 1999 devastation from Hurricane Mitch.

"Hurricane Mitch completely destroyed the infrastructure and we went down there to rebuild the sewer and water systems," Scott Rygh explained. "I met Victoria in 2000 at the Mayor's Office and when I moved back to Sandia Park and went to work at Sandia Labs, we kept in touch and married in 2005."

The couple moved to Los Alamos in 2009 after he went to work for Portage on a contract with Los Alamos National Laboratory. He went to work for Energy Solutions in July 2012. Rygh works at Los Alamos Medical Center.

"I am so proud to be an American," she said.

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., delivered the keynote address at Friday's naturalization ceremony held at the South Broadway Cultural Center. Naturalization of citizens is the process by which U.S. citizenship is granted to a foreign citizen or national after he or she fulfills the requirements established by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Patti Reynolds of the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services administered the Oath of Allegiance to the new citizens:

 

Oath

"I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the armed forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God."

The principles embodied in the Oath are codified in Section 337(a) in the Immigration and Nationality Act, which provides that all applicants shall take an Oath that incorporates the substance of the following:

  • Support the Constitution;
  • Renounce and abjure absolutely and entirely all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which the applicant was before a subject or citizen;
  • Support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic;
  • Bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and
  • Bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; or Perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; or Perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law.
U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., center, with Patti Reynolds of the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services and representatives from Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham's and Rep. Ben Ray Lujan's offices recite the Pledge of Alligiance. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., delivers the keynote address. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Taking the Oath of Allegiance to the United States of America. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

President Barack Obama welcomes America's newest citizens and reminds them of their responsibilities. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

New U.S. citizen Victoria Rygh with, from left, Los Alamos Medical Center emergency room nurse Dianne Vandiver, friend Mark Lines and husband Scott Rygh at Friday's ceremony. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

 

 


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