A pregnant Armenian American woman refused to leave a naturalization ceremony on Thursday until she had been sworn in as a U.S. citizen — despite experiencing contractions, according to reports.
U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney said the 31-year-old woman — who asked to be identified only by her first name, Tatev — began feeling contractions at a Los Angeles convention center where Carney was to preside over a naturalization ceremony for more than 3,000 people, Reuters reported.
Tatev, who had been scheduled for a cesarean section next week, would not leave until she was sworn in, according to Carney, who performed an improvised ceremony specifically for her ahead of the more formal one.
Tatev told Reuters that the contractions ended after she returned home and rested, and that she was determined to become a citizen due to concerns over the Trump administration’s immigration policies.
“I sped up this process because of the fact of the current president, because the immigration laws are under attack,” said Tatev, who already has a 2-year-old daughter.
President Trump has made hardline immigration policies a central aspect of his presidency.
The administration has in recent weeks announced a new proposed rule that would expand the types of public aid legal immigrants can receive before being deemed a “public charge,” which could lead to them being denied green cards.
Trump also said this week the administration was “looking at” ending birthright citizenship.
“I don’t want my kid to face these issues growing up in this country and having this be his home and not legally being part of this country,” Tatev, who has lived in the U.S. since the age of 14, told Reuters.