Matt Rourke / AP
Durreshahwar Hasan smiles along with her daughter, Asna, left, grandson, Abdullah, 3, daughters Iqra, center, and Nida holding her daughter Hafsa, six months, after their naturalization ceremony at the office of U.S. Rep. Rush Holt, D-N.J., on Friday in West Windsor, N.J. Hasan, the widow of a Pakistani immigrant killed by a white supremacist in a 9/11 revenge attack, became a U.S. citizen along with her daughters Friday.
Matt Rourke / AP
Durreshahwar Hasan holds a handful of flags after a naturalization ceremony.
Samantha Henry of the Associated Press reports that the naturalization of Hasan's family was, according to his daughter, the 'fulfillment of their father's dream for his children':
Durree Hasan said neighbors brought food, called, wrote letters and attended a candlelight vigil in the rain in the days after her husband was killed. She remembers being deeply moved by the elderly, frail woman who lived next door and showed up to support the family at the vigil.
"It never occurred to us we'd have to leave," Durree Hasan said. "It's home life to us; especially New Jersey and Milltown, we never thought to leave, even to another town. It's a very small town, but like a big family; very supportive."
U.S. Rep. Rush Holt, whose intervention in 2004 gave them permanent legal residency, hosted the naturalization ceremony Friday. Holt said he was horrified at hearing of Hasan's killing and then realizing the family was facing deportation.
"It's a story of bravery, perseverance and ultimately, I think it's a story of justice and compassion," Holt said. "Our laws have imperfections, but America continues to strive toward fairness and community and compassion, and that's what you see today."