Pregnant Woman Ignores Labor Contractions to Get Sworn in as U.S. Citizen

A pregnant Armenian-American woman who waited 17 years to become a naturalized citizen wasn't go to let going into labor get in the way of her being sworn in as an American.

The woman, identified by the first name Tatev, told Reuters she began to experience contractions while walking to the Los Angeles Convention Center on Thursday, when Judge Cormac J. Carney was set to naturalize around 3,200 citizens from 114 countries.

She refused to go to the hospital until she was sworn in, so Carney performed an impromptu naturalization ceremony with her before the official event started.

pregnant woman citizenship
A pregnant woman went into labor waiting to be sworn in as a U.S. citizen, but refused to leave until the naturalization process was complete.

Tatev, who was scheduled to give birth to her second child by caesarean section this week, said when she returned home and rested, the contractions subsided.

A former high-school history teacher, Tatev moved to the U.S. when she was 14. She says she's been working toward becoming a naturalized citizen for the past six years. She told Reuters she sped up the process "because of the fact of the current president, because the immigration laws are under attack."

One day before her swearing in, President Trump said he was considering ending birthright citizenship for American-born children of non-US citizens and undocumented immigrants, a right upheld by the 14th Amendment.

"We're looking at that very seriously, birthright citizenship, where you have a baby on our land, you walk over the border, have a baby - congratulations, the baby is now a U.S. citizen" Trump said. "It's frankly ridiculous."

The president has pushed a platform of enforcing harsher restrictions on immigration and citizenship, previously telling Axios in October he was considering ending birthright citizenship through executive order, something legal experts say would likely be found unconstitutional.

Tatev questioned rules that make immigration more difficult and ordeals like hers necessary.

"If [Trump] doesn't like what's happening, why don't we pass better policies that make it a little easier for people to go through this process instead of having to sneak into this country and go through so many horrible experiences?"

She told Reuters she was concerned about the effect these policies would have on her children.

"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."