A ‘Big Smile’ During DC’s Dark Days: Perlmutter Helps Guardsman Become A Citizen

January 16, 2021
Delaware Maj. Gen. Berry VisitDelaware Maj. Gen. Berry VisitU.S. Army photo by Pfc. Alyssa Lisenbe
U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Michael Berry, the adjutant general of the Delaware National Guard, talks with Spc. Jun Cho, of the 262nd Heavy Equipment Maintenance Repair Company in Washington D.C., Jan. 14, 2021.

A Delaware National Guardsman who missed his citizenship ceremony due to his deployment to the U.S. Capitol following the chaotic insurrection got an assist from Rep. Ed Perlmutter. When the Colorado Democrat heard his story, he got to work to remedy the situation.

Perlmutter said he stuck up a conversation with a group of guardsmen in the building. The Delawareans told him that Spc. Jun Cho, with the state’s National Guard 262nd Heavy Equipment Maintenance Company, would have to delay becoming a U.S. citizen. He missed his Jan. 13 ceremony due to their deployment.

“He was called to serve our nation in a very difficult moment in American history,” Perlmutter said. “And I just said...it’s the least I can do for the fact that he’s been called up and that’s put his citizenship on hold.”

Perlmutter called Rep. Zoe Lofgren, chair of the Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship, and Delaware Gov. John Carney thinking between the three of them, they could get it done.

And they did.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agreed to hold a swearing in ceremony for Cho Friday in Fairfax, Virginia.

Perlmutter watched the livestream as Cho took the oath of allegiance. He said it gave him “goosebumps.”

“It was something that gave me a big smile in the midst of a lot of other difficulties. I feel good about this young man getting his citizenship,” Perlmutter said.

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