Meet Father of 3, Who Renounced Kenyan Citizenship 23 Years After Moving to the US

Collage of Andrew Kamau (first frame) and Bethany McKnight-Kamau with their kids.
Collage of Andrew Kamau (first frame) and Bethany McKnight-Kamau with their kids.

Andrew Kamau, a student immigrant who has been living in the United States for the last 23 years, is no longer a Kenyan citizen.

The father of 3 joined 140 other foreigners who were drawn from 40 different countries to take an oath of allegiance as per the U.S. Constitution at an event held in Chicago on December 8, 2023.

"I'm becoming a U.S. citizen today," Andrew said in an interview with the Chicago News following the event.

Kamau was born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya before moving to the US as a college student in the year 2000.

Passengers at Jomo Kenyatta Airport.
Passengers at a check point at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

One of the oldest newspapers in the US, Bakersfield Californian reports that, for one to become granted US Citizenship he/she has to renounce her mother country.

Together with his wife, and three kids, Kamau and his family renounced their Kenyan citizenship as they took the oath.

"He's now a citizen (American) and for us to be able to have that moment together is, I think, really special," Bethany McKnight, Kamau's wife told the American publication.

According to the presiding judge, this marked the first time that the State of Chicago conducted a neutralisation ceremony at a Museum.

Instructively, the Museum of Science and Industry which hosted the event, gifted all the new citizens and their families a free annual membership.

"The promise of this country is still very real," stated a jubilant Kamau after the event.

The Kenyan constitution allows citizens to hold dual citizenship. It also allows persons who renounce their citizenship status to regain it later through application.

On its part, the US requires immigrants seeking citizenship to renounce their country of origin before being granted this status.

A US airport
A photo of Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport in the US.
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